Trusted Simple Battery Lawyers
Facing a Simple Battery Charge in Georgia? Get the facts from the expert attorneys at Conoscienti & Ledbetter. Read to learn more about simple battery.
Author: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter
Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on May 13, 2020, last updated on December 04, 2023.
Unlike the associated charges of Battery and Aggravated Battery, Simple Battery, which may consist of acts like shoving or slapping, does not result in significant physical injury. While a lot of Simple Battery offenses are misdemeanors, they can still have severe effects. Even misdemeanor offenses stay on an individual’s record. Plus, there are several scenarios where Simple Battery might be dealt with as a High and Aggravated Misdemeanor.
The penalties for Simple Battery depend on the specific details surrounding your case. Plus, the actions that constitute this offense are varied, many of which the average person would not consider particularly harmful. In fact, it is conceivable that you may commit Simple Battery and not be aware of it. This is why a skilled and efficient attorney from the law firm of Conoscienti & Ledbetter is essential in planning your defense.
Speak with trusted Simple Battery Attorneys today, for free.
According to O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23, a Simple Battery charge in Georgia occurs when a person:
“Intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or intentionally causes physical harm to another.”
As you can see, what constitutes Simple Battery covers a wide range of possible actions, most of which cause no serious bodily injury. With so many factors involved, only your legal counsel can help you accurately sort it out.
Simple Battery Charge in Georgia
Although some people believe the term “battery” indicates a violent crime, a Simple Battery charge in Georgia does not fit that description. Many people confuse this charge with those associated with a physical attack. There are three types of battery offenses: Simple Battery, Battery, and Aggravated Battery.
Since Simple Battery is often added to increase the weight of other charges, you should seek an attorney who is experienced defending against the charge with the greatest penalty. Depending on the details of your case, you may require counsel to defend against charges of aggravated assault in Georgia and battery.
A conviction for simple battery typically results in penalties that can significantly vary depending on the specifics of the case. In most jurisdictions, simple battery is considered a misdemeanor crime. However, the presence of aggravating factors can escalate the charge.
Typical Penalties for a Simple Battery Conviction
Jail Time: Most simple battery offenses are classified as misdemeanor offenses, which can result in jail time of up to one year. The exact duration often depends on the severity of the incident and any prior criminal history.
Fines: Fines for a simple battery conviction can vary. In cases deemed to be of a high and aggravated nature, the fines can be substantial.
Probation: In addition to or instead of jail time, a person convicted of simple battery may be sentenced to probation. This typically involves regular check-ins with a probation officer and adherence to certain conditions set by the court.
Community Service: Courts may also require individuals convicted of simple battery to complete a certain number of hours of community service.
Restitution: If the victim suffered losses as a result of the battery (e.g., medical bills, property damage), the court might order the defendant to pay restitution.
Factors That Can Affect the Penalties
Aggravating Factors: If the battery results in serious bodily harm, involves a deadly weapon, occurs against protected persons like police officers, or happens in sensitive locations such as a public transit vehicle, penalties can be more severe. In these cases, what is typically simple battery might be elevated to aggravated battery.
Domestic Violence: If the simple battery conviction involves domestic violence, additional penalties like mandatory counseling or a protective order might be imposed.
Legal Representation: Consulting with a criminal defense attorney is crucial in these cases. An attorney can provide legal services and advice, potentially mitigating the penalties or arguing legal defenses like accidental touching or self-defense.
A free consultation with a criminal defense attorney can help in understanding the legal implications of a simple battery conviction and exploring defense strategies. The Supreme Court rulings and regional legal precedents can also influence the outcome of battery cases, particularly in determining what constitutes great bodily harm or evaluating the context in which the defendant spat or committed battery.
Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free Simple Battery consultation today, for free.
The outcomes for Simple Battery in Georgia might consist of as much as one year jail time and a fine of approximately $1000. You may also be required to pay restitution to the victim. This compensates the victim for any expenses related to the offense, such as medical treatment or therapy.
If you are convicted, your lawyer may argue for a sentence of probation instead of prison. This is based on the level of bodily harm the individual sustained and is up to the judge’s discretion.
Simple Battery in Georgia Penalties for High or Aggravated Nature
There are particular circumstances in which the authorities will escalate your Simple Battery in Georgia charges to what the law calls “a misdemeanor of a high or aggravated nature.” A conviction for this can carry a one-year prison sentence and as much as $5,000 in fines.
Criminal offenses of this nature include the following victims:
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23(c) Pregnant female or 65 years or older
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23(d) Person in a public transit station or vehicle
O.C.G.A. §16-5-23(e) Correction officer, police officer, or detention officer on the job
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23(f) Past or present spouse and others living in the household
O.C.G.A. §16-5-23(h) Sports official on or exiting the sporting location
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23(i) Public school system employee on school property or engaged in official duties
According to GA Code Section §16-5-23(g), you face more serious charges if you are an employee at a long-term care facility like an assisted living community or nursing home, and the person you are accused of offending is a resident. Not only would you face Simple Battery charges, but you would likely lose your professional license and your job.
A knowledgeable attorney from a reputable criminal defense firm will have some strategies in mind to get your Simple Battery charge dropped, but it is not always possible.
There are several methods commonly used to introduce reasonable doubt in the case.
Consent: If you had consent to touch the person, then it usually can not be considered battery.
Defense of Others: Your actions were to protect another from probable physical harm.
Defense of Property: You used reasonable force to retain or recover your property. The Court determines this on a case-by-case basis.
Innocence: An alibi or witness will testify that you did not do it.
Lack of Intent: You did not intend to make contact. Maybe it was an accident.
Self-Defense: Your action was due to a physical threat that you did not provoke, and there was no reasonable chance to escape.
Another common defense is that there was no contact. One of the basic stipulations for a charge of Simple Battery is physical contact. But be aware that even if an interaction cannot be charged as Simple Battery, you may still be convicted of another crime like assault.
Depending on your use of force, the charge of Simple Battery may be dropped or reduced to assault. Using personal information that will include any previous crimes, your legal representative will plan the best defense for your case.