In order to commit a Battery under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23.1, a person must intentionally cause substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another. This physical harm must be perceptible by another person (other than the victim) and may include a black eye, swollen lip, or substantial bruising. It is not, however, limited to these injuries. This damage need not be permanent (and, if the damage is permanent, prosecutors will often charge the defendant with Aggravated Battery).
Battery may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, who the alleged victim is, and where the offense allegedly occurred. While even a misdemeanor battery charge is not something to be taken lightly, a felony battery conviction carries the potential for even more serious punishment.
Penalties for Battery Convictions
|Offense||Classification||Penalty for Conviction|
|Battery (No Aggravating Factors)||Misdemeanor||Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $1,000|
|Second Battery Against Same Victim||Misdemeanor||At least 10 days but not more than 12 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000, or both.|
|Third or Subsequent Battery Against Same Victim||Felony||At least 12 months but not more than 5 years imprisonment|
|Battery Against a Person 65 Years or Older (except where that person is a member of the same household, in which the Family Violence section applies – click here)||High and Aggravated Misdemeanor||Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000|
|Battery Against a Pregnant Female||High and Aggravated Misdemeanor||Up to 12 months jail time and/or a fine of up to $5,000|
|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|
|Battery Between Household Members||Click here for information about Family Violence – Battery||Click here for information about Family Violence – Battery|
|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||Felony||At least 12 months but not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $2,000, or both.|
|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|
|Battery Against School Official While on School Property (Includes School Buses or Bus Stops) or While School Official Engaged in Official Duties||Felony||At least 12 months but not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.|