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Georgia Assault Defenses

Under Georgia assault law, you do not have to actually make physical contact with someone to commit assault. You merely have to make someone fear that they are about to become the victim of a physical assault. This means committing assault might be easier than you think.

If you have been accused of assault in Georgia, you will first want to hire a Georgia criminal defense lawyer. Georgia criminal lawyers can help you come up with a defense strategy and negotiate with the prosecution (the party in charge of proving your guilt in court).

Some Georgia assault defenses may be better than others depending on the specific circumstances of your case. What defense is best for you is a matter for you and your attorney to decide.

Georgia Assault Laws

Under Georgia assault law, there are different types of assault. Some of these types have more severe punishments than others because of the harm they pose to the victims.

The most basic type of assault in Georgia is known as simple assault. Simple assault is when you attempt to use violence against another person or when you threaten violence to the point where the person fears you may actually cause harm.

Simple assault is classified as a misdemeanor in Georgia. A misdemeanor is a crime that is usually punishable by less than a year in jail, a fine, community service, or a combination of these.

A more serious type of assault in Georgia is known as aggravated assault. According to Georgia assault laws, aggravated assault is when you assault someone with the intent to murder, rape, or rob him or her; when you assault someone with a deadly weapon; or when you shoot a gun at someone from a moving vehicle.

Aggravated assault is a felony, meaning it is a more serious crime. It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Assault Defenses

One of the most popular defenses against assault is self-defense. Self-defense is when you use force or threaten force in order to protect yourself or someone else from immediate physical violence.

The self-defense defense is known as an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense means that you and your lawyer do not dispute the facts of the case. This means that when the prosecution says you threatened someone with violence, you admit that you threatened someone with violence. However, you are saying that the reason you threatened someone with violence was valid and justifiable under the law.

If you can prove that your safety was in danger or that you had reason to believe your safety was in danger and that you used reasonable force against your would-be attacker, you may have a good defense in the self-defense claim.

Even in a situation where you may have committed a crime, your lawyer can set up a meeting with the prosecution to discuss what is known as a plea bargain. A plea bargain is when you admit guilt to a lesser charge to avoid the trial process and possibly a more severe conviction.

This means that even if you committed felony assault, your attorney may be able to talk the prosecution down to a misdemeanor, or that if you committed a more serious misdemeanor, your attorney can talk the prosecution down to a lesser misdemeanor.

Make a Plan

You and your criminal defense attorney will want to have discussions as soon as possible regarding your case strategy. Soon after your arrest, set up a meeting and go over the facts of the case. Based on these facts and your lawyers understanding of Georgia assault law, you will be able to come up with a defense.

If circumstances change or new information comes to light, then you and your lawyer can adjust your strategy accordingly. The important thing to remember is to seek out a lawyer you believe is knowledgeable about the law and whom you can trust.