Written by attorney Ernest Dewitt Napier III

Aggravated Assault in Georgia

What about Aggravated Assault?

If you or someone you know has been charged with Aggravated Assault, then you need to know some basics. Please be aware that these are just the basics.

Georgia Definition of Aggravated Assault

A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults: (1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob; (2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or (3) A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.

Punishment for Aggravated Assault

Generally, the punishment is a max of 20 years. However, depending on the status of the victim, there can be certain mandatory minimums and higher maximums.

Possible Defenses to Aggravated Assault

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible defenses.Every situation is unique and must be considered based upon the facts associated with the specific case. Having said that, here are some things to consider.

  1. Not me – you got the wrong guy (or gal).
  2. Self-Defense – I was afraid for my safety or someone else’s safety.
  3. No deadly weapon – I had a cell phone not a gun;
  4. Victim didn’t know – The victim was unconscious, asleep, or otherwise incapacitated. (Patterson v. State, 192 Ga. App. 449, 385 S.E.2d 311).

Interesting Cases concerning Aggravated Assault

Robertson v. State, 245 Ga. App. 649, 538 S.E.2d 755 (2000). - When a defendant intentionally shoots several times into a group of people intending to harm only one of them, a jury would be authorized to find defendant guilty of aggravated assault against each person in the group.

Miller v. State, 292 Ga. App. 641, 666 S.E.2d 35 (2008). In an aggravated assault case, since no witness saw a weapon or "sharp instrument" as alleged in the indictment, evidence that as a result of the defendant's attack, the victim suffered a clean cut from the forehead to the lip was sufficient to allow the jury to infer that the wound was caused by a sharp instrument. Evidence as to wounds inflicted was sufficient for a jury to infer a weapon's character.

Haugland v. State, 253 Ga. App. 423, 560 S.E.2d 50 (2002). Jury could find that a defendant's hands and feet, depending upon their use, wounds inflicted, and other surrounding circumstances, were deadly weapons or objects likely to result in serious bodily injury when used offensively against a person for purposes of aggravated assault under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a)(2).

What should I do?

Pick up the phone and call an Attorney. If you are charged with Aggravated Assault, you need an Attorney.

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer