Simple Battery

Simple Battery

According to O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23, a person commits simple battery when he or she:

  • Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or
  • Intentionally causes physical harm to another.

Unlike the related charges of Battery and Aggravated Battery, typically simple battery does not result in serious physical injury.  It may include behavior like pushing or slapping, which may not result in visible bodily injury.  Other actions that Georgia courts have held to satisfy the Simple Battery statute include:

While most simple battery offenses are misdemeanor offenses, that is not to say that they cannot have serious repercussions.  Even misdemeanor offenses remain on a person’s record.  There are also several circumstances under which Simple Battery may be treated as High and Aggravated Misdemeanor.  This means that the potential penalties are higher than they would be for a regular misdemeanor.

Penalties for Simple Battery Convictions

Offense Classification Penalty for Conviction
Simple Battery (No Aggravating Factors) Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $1,000
Simple Battery Against a Person 65 Years or Older High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Against a Pregnant Female High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery in a Public Transit Vehicle or Station High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Against Police Officer, Corrections Officer, Detention Officer who is Engaged in Official Duties. High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Between Family Members1 High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery by Employee of a Long-Term Care Facility, Assisted Living Community, Personal Care Home, or Home Health Care or Hospice Organization, Against a Person Receiving Care from Such an Organization High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Against Sports Official (Referee, Umpire, or Officiate at Any Level) High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Against School Official While on School Property (Includes School Buses or Bus Stops) High and Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000

Why Hire An Attorney for a Simple Battery Charge?

Because Simple Battery is, for the most part, a misdemeanor offense, sometimes people are tempted to treat it as a frivolous matter with no serious or lasting repercussions.  This is a serious mistake.  In most situations simple battery will remain on an individual’s criminal record.  A competent and experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, however, can advise you of your options.  You may be eligible for a diversion or a first offender program that may be able to keep your record clean.  This can be especially crucial for people in certain professions, especially those in the military, medicine, or childcare.  That said, any criminal offense is potentially a serious problem.  Call me today to discuss your options.

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