Battery charges are frequently brought in conjunction with assault allegations. The crime of battery happens when a person uses force or the threat of force in order to harm another person. This action results in harmful or offensive contact with the victim and causes bodily harm. The nature of the harm will dictate how the crime is charged. In order for a person to be charged with this crime, there must be actual contact between the accused and the victim or contact between the victim and an object over which the defendant had exerted control. This crime may be charged as simple battery or aggravated battery.
Simple and Aggravated Battery
A person is charged with simple battery when he causes minor injuries to another person, where the harm does not result in long-term injury. This crime is a misdemeanor in Georgia and may result in a fine and jail time of up to one year. Aggravated battery is charged when a person causes serious bodily harm to another person. This harm may include:
- Broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Amputation of limbs; or
- Internal injuries.
This crime is charged as a felony and may lead to large fines and up to 20 years in prison. A person may be charged with aggravated battery if he gets into a fight at a baseball game and throws a punch that causes another person to fall and hit his head, resulting in long-term injuries as the result of head trauma. A prosecutor is going to focus on the perceived intent of the defendant. If there appears to be evidence that supports intent to do serious bodily harm or cause death, then the penalties may be even more severe.
Defenses to Battery
One of the most common defenses to battery charges is self-defense. A person may not have intended to harm the other individual, but reacted in response to a real or perceived threat. There must be some evidence that it was reasonable for the defendant to have believed that the risk of harm was imminent. What this means is that another person under the same circumstances would have believed that there was a significant risk of harm that was going to happen within a brief period of time.
Another defense available in Georgia is that the individual being charged with battery was acting in defense of the home. This is relevant when there is an attempt by another person to gain entry into the home of the defendant or where another person was taking actions that could be perceived as an attack on the home.
As with all affirmative defenses, the actions taken by the accused must be deemed to be reasonable. Of course, it also is appropriate to attack the evidence of the battery. If the case is being built around the testimony of the person who alleged the harm, it is important to challenge the veracity of that testimony.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Advocates on Behalf of its Clients
Battery charges carry with them the potential to permanently impact the life of the person being charged, including the loss of the ability to vote, bear arms, obtain certain professional licenses, and pursue some careers. It is critical to fight against these charges in order to avoid the long-term negative consequences. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. understands how to mount a strong defense to these cases, including getting the charges dismissed outright. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations at our office, over the telephone, and are ready to come to you in jail.