Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Atlanta Woman Convicted of Aggravated Battery Against Elderly Mother

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

Sandy Mathis, pleaded guilty and was convicted of beating her 94-year-old mother with a hammer inside her home in NW Atlanta.

The reports have been staggered regarding her actual convictions, which as a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I am very used to seeing. Much like sex crimes in Georgia, crimes involving assault and battery are typically mixed up. Mathis has been found guilty of aggravated battery, which I will cover in today's post.

Battery in Georgia

Battery in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-5-23 as:

A person commits the offense of battery when he or she intentionally causes substantial harm or visible bodily harm to another.

The law also defines “visible bodily harm” as “bodily harm capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim and may include, but is not limited to, substantially blackened eyes, substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts, or substantial bruises to body parts.”

Battery is classified as a misdemeanor in Georgia. The consequences may include confinement of up to 12 months and a fine up to $1,000.

Aggravated Battery in Georgia

Aggravated Battery in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-5-24 as:

A person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof.

The crime of aggravated battery does not require that a victim's disfigurement be permanent. However, the injury must be more severe than a mere visible or superficial wound.

Aggravated battery is classified as a felony in Georgia. The consequences will be confinement for no less than one year and no more than twenty years. However, the penalty for committing aggravated battery that results in temporary disfigurement may be deemed a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in confinement. There are also certain situations in which aggravated battery will automatically result in an amplified punishment. This includes:

  • If the battery is committed in a public transit vehicle or station. 
  • If the crime is committed against a female, who is pregnant.
  • If the battery is committed against a teacher or other school personnel engaged in their duties on school property.
  • If the battery is against a person, who is 65 years old or older. 
  • If the person who committed the battery is an employee, agent, or volunteer at a long-term car facility and the victim is a person who is admitted to or receiving services from such facility or person. 
  • If the battery was against a sports official during an amateur contest or while the official is on or exiting the property. 

Practice Note

Contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today if you or a loved one has been arrested. We can help you with your case now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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