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In the State of GA, what is the normal sentencing for simple battery and this is a second offense and the person has a record?

Atlanta, GA |

My child's father attempted to kill me by choking me & then suffocating me in front of my children. For whatever reason he's only being charged with simple battery. I don't understand why he can't be charged with attempted murder, cruelty to children, etc. With a charge like that he gets a slap on the wrist. I also found out from pulling up his criminal record that he had a previous simple battery & cruelty to children with his previous girlfriend, along with drug and robbery convictions in MS & GA. Since this is his 2nd charge of simple battery & he has a record will he get bail? Will he at least do some time in jail? Is there a way to add additional charges or increase his charge from simple battery to keep him in jail or does he have to commit murder to get a real punishment?

Attorney Answers 3


There are just too many different factors in each case to guess what an average sentence would be for battery. Prior convictions will increase the odds that the sentence will include jail time, but that doesn't mean it will happen.

You don't have any real control over what the state decides to charge him with. However, you can call the prosecutor's office (for misdemeanors that is the solicitor's office for the county in which the attack happened) and ask to speak to a victim/witness advocate or the prosecutor assigned to the case to let that office know the seriousness of the situation.

The other thing that you need to do is to contact a local attorney or a local women's shelter to get help obtaining a Temporary Protective Order (TPO). The order will prohibit him from coming near you or your child and if he violates the order he will be charged with a felony.

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Simple battery has a maximum possible sentence of 12 months in jail and $1000 fine.

The prosecutor can change the charges if he or she believes that more serious charges are appropriate. You should contact the assigned prosecutor and discuss your concerns and requests.

The court must grant a bond on a charge of simple battery (assuming he is not on probation for another case or out on bond on another case).

You should also consider filing a civil Petition for a Temporary Protective Order. Also it would be a good idea to request that the bond have a condition that he have NO contact with you. Violations of either the bond condition or the Temporary Protective Order could lead to him being charged with the felony of Aggravated Stalking.

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Realistically, you have very little control over how the prosecutor’s office charges a domestic battery case. If there was no weapon involved and no apparent serious injury, simple battery or family violence battery is realistically what he will be charged with. His bond for those charges, for either of them, is generally a “no contact “bond. He could have been charged with cruelty to children in the third degree. But if you feel you need additional protection, you may be eligible for a family violence protective order. A hearing on a family violence protective order would be a good time to have an attorney. A family violence protective order would restrict your husband from contacting you or possibly the children and often would provide child support or other possible support.

Mr. Benedict practices law in Lawrenceville, Georgia. This opinion is for general educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice to anyone. There is no attorney/client relationship expressed or implied by this general response to a general question. Specific details not stated in the general question can result in dramatically different advice. For that reason the individual raising the question should consult an attorney with more of the details to determine if any form of legal action is in the person's interest.

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