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Simple Battery in Georgia

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. 

Examples of Simple Battery

Simple Battery 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:

  • Juvenile defendant placed his hands in the victim’s pockets, despite the victim’s protests. In re D.M., 308 Ga.App. 589, 708 S.E.2d 550 (2011).
  • Defendant spat upon other occupants of jail transport vehicle as well as a police officer. Williams v. State, 287 Ga.App. 40, 651 S.E.2d 347 (2007).
  • Defendant sprayed victim with pepper spray. Dudley v. State, 242 Ga.App. 53, 527 S.E.2d 912 (2000).
  • Defendant hit victim with a cardboard tube and cane. Vaughn v. State, 227 Ga.App. 318, 486 S.E.2d 607 (1997).

Penalties for a Simple Battery Conviction

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.

OffenseClassificationPenalty for Conviction
Simple Battery (No Aggravating Factors)MisdemeanorUp to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $1,000
Simple Battery Against a Person 65 Years or OlderHigh and Aggravated MisdemeanorUp to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Against a Pregnant FemaleHigh and Aggravated MisdemeanorUp to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery in a Public Transit Vehicle or StationHigh and Aggravated MisdemeanorUp 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 DutiesHigh and Aggravated MisdemeanorUp to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000
Simple Battery Between Family Members*High and Aggravated MisdemeanorUp 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 OrganizationHigh and Aggravated MisdemeanorUp 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 MisdemeanorUp 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 MisdemeanorUp 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.


Crimes Against People
Simple Battery
Simple Assault
Battery
Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Battery
Cruelty to Children
False Imprisonment
Family Violence: Battery
Interference With Custody
Kidnapping
Stalking
Homicide

Learn More


Writer

Kevin Fisher


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