DeKalb County Aggravated Assault Lawyer

Because aggravated assault charges could lead to significant time behind bars, you cannot afford to make a mistake with your defense. DeKalb County aggravated assault lawyers understand the gravity of your situation. Rely on an experienced assault attorney’s in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system to help you craft an effective defense that minimizes possible punishment.

What Makes an Interaction an Aggravated Assault?

An assault is an illegal attempt or threat to cause bodily injury to another. The aggressor does not need to touch the alleged victim or cause injury to engage in an assault. The law requires only an effort or a credible threat to cause serious harm. The state defines this conduct as simple assault under Section 16-5-20(a) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Per O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a), the charges escalate to aggravated assault if the situation involves the murder, rape, or robbery of the alleged victim, a deadly weapon, or the firing of a gun from a motor vehicle in the direction of another person.

Some assume that deadly weapons refer only to guns and knives. However, O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a) recognizes that anything capable of inflicting severe injury or strangulation fits the definition. Baseball bats, rope, hands, fists, feet in boots, or any number of innocuous items may turn into a deadly weapon and support an aggravated assault charge. By working with an experienced DeKalb County lawyer, defendants may better understand the aggravated assault charges against them and raise appropriate objections.

Penalties for Committing Aggravated Assault in DeKalb County

Aggravated assault charges may lead to long periods of incarceration. While the specific punishment depends on the facts of the particular case, sentencing for aggravated assault starts with a minimum of one to 20 years in prison.

O.C.G.A. §§ 16-5-21(c) -(k) increases the minimum incarceration term to three years if the target of the assault is 65 years or older, a family member, or if the assault takes place on public transit. Minimum sentences move up to five years when the offense involves law enforcement, court officials, or the discharge of a firearm. If the defendant planned on raping a child under 14 years old, the sentence would be at least 25 years in prison.

Defendants in aggravated assault cases may need skilled DeKalb County attorneys to help explain their side of the story to police, prosecutors, and the court.

Responding to the Charges

Just because the police arrest and charge someone with aggravated assault does not mean the defendant is guilty. The accused has the opportunity and right to defend themselves at trial. Common defenses include:

  • Innocence (did not engage in the alleged conduct)
  • Self-defense
  • Lack of intent to cause violence
  • Defense of someone else or property
  • Absence of a deadly weapon
  • The alleged victim consented to the contact
  • A reasonable person would not have been in fear

DeKalb County attorneys familiar with the state’s aggravated assault statute may help those standing trial determine which counter argument best fits their case to establish a strong defense strategy.

Defend Yourself with the Help of a DeKalb County Aggravated Assault Attorney

If convicted, the penalties associated with aggravated assault could significantly alter your life, so you must put forward a solid defense. Skilled DeKalb County aggravated assault lawyers regularly work with individuals to defend their rights. Legal professionals could guide you at every stage of the process, so do not delay. Call today.