Assault charges carry a range of penalties. Felony assault versus misdemeanor assaults are the two different level of penalties in Georgia. Misdemeanor level assault, also known as simple assault, carries a penalty of one year in jail. Oftentimes, this is not the punishment imposed, especially when a resolution is negotiated with the prosecutor and accepted by a judge. Even after trial, it is rare that a first lifetime conviction of simple assault, misdemeanor assault results in serious jail time.
However, the penalties for felony assault, also known as aggravated assault, can be quite serious with up to twenty years in prison in the state of Georgia if you are convicted for aggravated assault.
When someone is convicted of assault charges in the state of Georgia, the crime follows them on their official criminal history for the rest of their life. It is a violent crime and conviction that is difficult to explain to future employers. So it is crucial that a person obtains a lawyer experienced in defending both misdemeanor and felony assault cases.
It is during the probation period of three, four, or five years that most of the complications occur for people. They are out of jail trying to get back in the swing of a job and life. They walk a tightrope when they are on probation during those years. It is an attorney’s job to minimize the amount of time someone is on that probation tightrope because if they slip when they are on probation, correctional officers in the state of Georgia will put them back behind bars.
Slipping can be as simple include failure to pay or to complete terms while someone is on probation. The person may be arrested for a lesser crime such as DUI or another simple assault. Correctional officers use those misdemeanor crimes, the low level charges, to violate a person’s probation to put them behind bars for an extended period of time.
An attorney who is experienced in defending assault charges can minimize the potential time a person faces on probation from a conviction, if the charges are not successfully removed through negotiations or through a trial.
As with many crimes, assault charges carry a social stigma. A person is charged with committing a crime against another human being, a crime that involves violence or threat of violence. When a person’s friends, family, co-workers, and people around them find that the person is charged with assault, their view of that person changes. It is imperative that a person obtains the services of a lawyer to discredit the alleged victim and the falsehood that can surround their story about someone charged with an assault in the state of Georgia.