Being accused or convicted of assault can lead to life-changing consequences. One mistake can initiate a chain of legal and criminal charges and punishments like fines, a criminal record, and jail time, which may damage a reputation—and a life—permanently.
After an arrest for assault, it is critical to have a criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights and expertly negotiate charges and sentencing to minimize damages. A DeKalb County assault lawyer will assess your situation and build a solid defense to provide you with the proactive, experienced legal guidance that you need to prevent one mistake from dismantling your life.
Simple Assault Charge
Assault is characterized as the threat of violence before it is carried out, and there are varying degrees of assault. Simple assault is defined as attempting to commit a violent act against another or putting a person in a situation in which they have reason to believe that physical harm or violence will be enacted upon them.
Simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor and sentencing may include up to a year in county jail or a $1,000 fine (or both), up to a year of probation. The defendant may also be required to pay restitution to the victim.
Aggravated Assault Charge
Aggravated Assault is defined in OCGA 16-5-21. It consists of several different ways to commit the crime. Generally, a person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she:
- Assaults with the intent to murder, to rape, or rob
- Uses a deadly weapon or object that when used against a person does result or likely could result in serious bodily injury
- Firing a gun from within a motor vehicle towards others
A person convicted of the offense of aggravated assault shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. Contact an experienced assault lawyer in DeKalb County for assistance in mitigating potential penalties.
There are enhanced penalties for aggravated assault depending on the victim in the case, such as:
- A police officer or public transit officer
- A person over the age of 65
- Doctor or nurse
- Commercial trucker
In addition, the use of a gun near a school against a teacher or student, and an assault between spouses, former spouses or people who used to live together are treated even more harshly than other types of aggravated assault.
Building a Defense
Building a defense requires the guidance of someone experienced in navigating the legal system who can quickly assess the case and decide the best way to proceed in order to minimize the charges or sentencing for the defendant.
Consulting legal counsel is of critical importance in the case of an assault charge, as an assault attorney in DeKalb County may be able to determine that the defendant has been wrongfully charged before trial and could get the charges dismissed. If this is not the case, the attorney can work to negotiate a plea bargain, which could reduce the charges and dictate a lesser sentencing that works in the favor of the defendant.
The power of an attorney’s expertise should not be underestimated. It can mean the difference between hefty fines, jail time, and dealing with the hardships of having a criminal record for life versus settling the case pretrial and leaving the incident in the past with minimal damages.
Contact an Assault Lawyer Today
Georgia takes assault crimes seriously and punishment could have a lifelong impact on an individual’s ability to procure employment, find housing and could negatively affect relationships and personal reputations. You want to ensure to have an experienced attorney on your side.
If you are facing charges for assault, you need to act now to ensure that you are building a strong case in your defense. Contact a DeKalb assault attorney who can defend your case and work to reach an outcome that minimizes damages and allows you to move on with your life.