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What Is the Difference Between Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery?

Is there a difference between aggravated assault and aggravated battery? They may seem similar at first glance, but the distinction is critical to understanding your charges.

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What Is the Difference Between Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Battery?

Since they are often lumped together, many wonder what the difference between aggravated assault and aggravated battery is.

The term “aggravated” is used when an action is serious. Since the words “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably, aggravated assault and aggravated battery may sound like the same offense. Both charges are serious. However, assault and battery charges are separate crimes and attract different penalties and jail terms. The justice system is not lenient when it comes to either of these offenses.

What determines whether a person gets an assault or battery charge? For an aggravated battery offense, there must be evidence of physical harm. For aggravated assault, threats and intimidation are enough to charge you.

When you attempt to cause personal injury to another person, you will get an aggravated assault charge. You can also be charged with aggravated assault if you commit an act that puts another person at risk of being seriously injured. On the other hand, you are charged with aggravated battery if you actually cause physical harm to another person.

An experienced felony lawyer in Marietta may help you get your charges reduced or dropped.


Assault and Battery Are Considered Separate Crimes

Since assault and battery are separate crimes, the prosecuting attorney can charge you with both, depending on the situation. The prosecution needs to prove that you intended to harm the other person for an aggravated assault to stick. However, the prosecutors should show that there was actual physical contact between you and your accuser to prove an aggravated battery case.

One thing that aggravated assault and aggravated battery have in common is that they are both felonies. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony, while an aggravated battery charge is a second-degree felony.

A reputable lawyer may be able to get your criminal charge withdrawn. Still, you must help them understand the details surrounding your case and what (if anything) you have told a police officer regarding your case.

Understanding the Difference Between Assault and Battery

Understanding the difference between assault and battery may be the foundation to winning your case. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, assault does not involve physical harm but instead creates reasonable fear in the alleged victim. Battery includes offensive contact.


What Constitutes Assault?

Pointing a firearm toward a reasonable person will make them afraid for their lives or fear you will harm them. This is enough to charge you with an aggravated assault charge.

Here are other scenarios where you can be charged for aggravated assault.

  • If you assault a person with the intention of robbing or raping them
  • If you threaten another person with serious bodily harm with a deadly weapon
  • If you appear capable of carrying out your threat

In other words, if you cause reasonable apprehension in another person, you could be charged with assault.

Bear in mind that great bodily harm can be defined as any injury that is more severe than minor or slight harm. It includes broken bones, wounds that bleed, or other injuries that require surgery or hospitalization.

Any object that is dangerous or deadly, such as a knife or a firearm, can be considered a deadly weapon. However, even steel-toed boots can be considered deadly weapons since they can be used in a manner that can cause great bodily harm or death.


What Constitutes Battery?

For an aggravated battery charge, physical contact must have occurred between the accused and the accuser. Plus, the contact must have resulted in severe bodily injury for the defendant.

Here are a few examples:

  • If the accused struck or touched the defendant against their will, causing visible bodily injury, disfigurement, or disability
  • If the accused intentionally inflicted any injury on the defendant
  • If the accused shot someone with a gun

If someone caused a serious disfigurement to another person, that means they have left them a visible scar to a certain body part or an injured them in a way that changes their physical appearance.

Causing a permanent disability to another means leaving them permanently injured and unable to function in a normal and usual manner. These injuries include permanent impairment, limp, or impaired ability to speak.

Both offenses, battery as well as assault, are considered severe, and if you are charged, you can face serious sentencing or penalties. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help in your case. Hire a skilled misdemeanor lawyer or criminal lawyer to improve your chances in court.

Aggravated Assault & Battery Charges

In addition to aggravated assault and battery charges, there are a few other types that you could be charged with.

Assault offenses are classified as two charges: simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault means that the accused used threatening words against the defendant. You will be charged with an aggravated assault case when deadly weapons are involved, such as pointing a handgun or pistol at someone.

There are three types of battery charges.

  • Simple battery: You touched the defendant in a way that can be considered offensive, but you did not leave a mark.
  • Battery: You offensively touched someone and left a mark, such as a bruise or scratch.
  • Aggravated battery: You intentionally caused another person bodily harm resulting in more than minor scrapes, including serious disfigurement, loss of limbs, or broken bones.

Aggravated battery is the most serious battery charge. A knowledgeable legal advisor may be able to have the charges reduced to lesser ones.

Do You Need an Attorney for Aggravated Assault and Battery Charges?

These are serious crimes, leaving many to wonder if they need an attorney for aggravated battery and assault charges, especially if using a deadly weapon. Inflicting a serious injury on another person is punishable by law. So you need to work with criminal defense lawyers to help save you from jail or expensive penalties.

Criminal charges damage your record, but if your attorney can show you were reacting in self-defense, they can have them dropped. If you received a personal injury from the alleged victim that resulted in medical bills, the prosecution might be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who initiated the attack.


Why Work With an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you wonder why you should work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the answer is that an aggressive legal defense is vital for having charges for violent crimes dropped. Whether you face a second or third-degree assault or battery charge, you need to lawyer up.

Besides representing you in court, a criminal attorney will offer you formal legal advice and can advise you on how to handle yourself in court to avoid hurting your case. The Waltman Firm offers clients or their loved ones an aggressive defense team to help them in their cases. Our attorneys are well trained, and they have vast experience handling assault battery charges. They may help you get a favorable ruling.

Georgia Aggravated Assault and Battery Laws

According to aggravated assault and battery laws, the charges are treated as felonies in GA. Therefore, the financial penalties and lengths of jail time are harsher than for simple battery and simple assault.

When you are convicted, you will face the penalties below:

  • 1 to 20 years in prison or on probation 
  • A fine of up to $100,000 
  • Restitution to the victim

In domestic violence, the victim may be given a protective order against you. Working with a Marietta protective order defense attorney will help you fight this order.

When you cause great bodily harm to another person, your case may seem hopeless. However, criminal defense attorneys will help you fight for your freedom and rights. Create a good attorney-client relationship by ensuring you don’t hide any details that can harm your case. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment if you want to work with a law firm with experienced criminal attorneys and a good track record of winning cases.