According to Georgia Code Title 16, a person commits the offense of simple battery when he or she either:
- Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or
- Intentionally causes physical harm to another person.
Simple battery is the least severe of all battery crimes. The offense is charged as a misdemeanor, and the punishment usually includes 1-year jail time and fines up to $1,000. However, some cases can be tried as a misdemeanor of aggravated nature, depending on the victim and the surrounding circumstances. If you’re charged with OCGA simple battery, you will need to hire an experienced criminal lawyer to help you fight the charge. Our highly revered defense attorneys at Criminal Defense Matters fit this bill and are always on hand to take up your case.
Does simple battery have to involve a fight?
No. Although the tag conjures an image of altercation or scuffle, you can be charged with OCGA simple battery without getting involved in a fight. Under the law, the operative word is ‘physical contact without consent’, and a wide range of situations fit into this definition.
For example, if a patient pays a plastic surgeon for a facelift, and the surgeon goes ahead to carry out liposuction without the patient’s consent, the surgeon may be charged with simple battery.
Do you need a lawyer for a simple battery charge?
Admittedly, most simple battery offenses are misdemeanors, and the conviction may seem bearable. However, you should always have it in mind that any kind of conviction leaves a permanent blot on your criminal record. Even after paying the fine and serving the punishment, you may struggle to get a job or housing in a decent environment. Thus, it is imperative to do all you can to ensure that you are not convicted for the battery offense.
Furthermore, you need to know that certain circumstances can increase the punishment for OCGA simple battery. For example, if the victim is a senior or a pregnant woman, the charge will be upgraded to a high or aggravated nature, and the punishment will be more severe. Furthermore, repeat offenders or people with a criminal record will not enjoy the ‘good time’ credit typical for misdemeanor charges. So, they’ll need a competent criminal lawyer to help achieve the best possible outcome.
What are some defenses for simple battery?
Before an offender can be convicted of simple battery in Georgia, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect intended to make the physical contact. The common defenses against battery crimes include lack of intent, self-defense or defense of others, absence of contact, defense of property, consent, and innocent. Your Georgia battery attorney will carefully examine your case to know the best defense to employ.
Have you or anyone you know been accused of OCGA simple battery? You should call Kohn and Yager, Georgia’s foremost criminal defense lawyers, immediately. Call us for a free consultation on any of the following numbers: Sandy Springs Office/404) 567-5515, Downtown Atlanta/(404) 567-5515, Marietta Office/(770) 629-8620, Alpharetta Office/770) 629-9614.
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