Most people in Henry County are familiar with the term “assault and battery,” but this defines two separate offenses committed in tandem. Assault is the presentation of a threat of harm to another party, and physical contact is not necessary to commit assault. Battery is making actual physical contact. It’s possible for a person to be charged with one or both of these offenses, and the penalties for assault and battery are severe.
Any form of assault is a serious criminal offense in Georgia, especially when it results in bodily harm or death to the victim. If you have been charged with any assault-related offense in Henry County, a McDonough assault defense attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side if you want to avoid conviction, or at the very least minimize your penalty when conviction is a certainty. Your attorney can potentially help you avoid conviction or at the very least, mitigate any penalties assigned to you if you are convicted.
The attorneys at Miller, North & Brill have years of professional experience handling criminal defense in Henry County, and our team can help you determine the best defenses available to you in your impending case. Many people who are charged with assault acted in self-defense and have been wrongfully accused by those who attacked them. Others are simply arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or resembling the person who actually committed the theft. Whatever your case entails, our team will help you build the most effective defense possible.
There are many assault offenses that may be prosecuted under state law, and the aggravating factors of the case will increase the severity of a defendant’s penalties. Conversely, mitigating factors can lead to lighter penalties or even help the defendant avoid conviction. Simple assault defines a threat of bodily harm, and no physical contact is necessary to complete this offense. This is a misdemeanor assault crime punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine, and restitution to the victim. Simple battery is also a misdemeanor that carries similar penalties in Georgia.
At the felony level, the severity of the defendant’s sentence hinges on the scope of their actions and whether they caused severe injury or death to the victim. For example, aggravated assault can lead to one to 20 years in state prison, and this could increase if they cause bodily harm or use a firearm. Most defendants convicted of assault will also owe restitution to their victims, and if they caused serious damages those victims may file civil claims against them.
The most effective defense against assault charges in Georgia is proving that you acted in self-defense. State law allows an individual to use force to protect themselves from an imminent threat of harm, including deadly force, if such a threat is presented. If you acted in self-defense but have been charged with assault, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you prove the truth of the situation and avoid an unjust conviction.
Technically, there is no requirement to hire a lawyer, but you have the right to legal counsel regardless of whether you are unwilling or unable to hire private defense counsel. The Henry County court can appoint a public defender to represent you free of charge, and this may seem like a practical option for legal counsel in your case. However, investing in the services of a private criminal defense attorney can ensure a higher level of legal representation than a public defender can offer.
The best defenses in any assault case are proving mistaken identity or self-defense. If you were accused of a crime, you did not commit, your attorney can help you establish your alibi, proving you could not have committed the offense in question. Georgia upholds the law of self-defense, so if you only harmed the alleged victim because they presented an imminent threat of harm, your attorney can assist you in asserting this affirmative defense to avoid wrongful conviction.
State law assigns penalties for assault-related offenses based on the aggravating factors of the case. Aggravating factors that can escalate the defendant’s penalties include causing severe bodily harm or death, using a firearm in the incident in question, or assaulting a minor, an elderly individual, a public official, or a police officer. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is the most serious assault-related crime that can be prosecuted.
Before agreeing to a potential attorney’s representation, be sure you fully understand their billing policy. A good attorney can also provide an estimate of how long they are likely to spend working on your case.
The attorneys at Miller, North & Brill have years of experience representing clients accused of all types of criminal offenses in Henry County, including violent crimes like assault. If you are unsure how to approach the defense in your case, keep in mind that you need an experienced and reliable defense attorney to handle your case. Contact Miller, North & Brill today to schedule your consultation with a McDonough assault defense attorney to learn more about the ways we can help you reach the best possible outcome to your impending case.
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