Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Cobb County Teacher Accused of Putting Student in Chokehold

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Cobb County police have arrested a teacher after he allegedly pushed a student downward while gripping his neck.

The teacher is not allowed on school campus during the investigation. Details have not been released as to the incident. Cobb County School District has released the following statement:

“It has been alleged that a staff member made a poor choice earlier this week and is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. We are following district policy to maintain the safety and security of our school and students — our highest priority.”

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense that the teacher is most likely facing - cruelty to children.

Cruelty to Children in Georgia

Cruelty to children in Georgia is separated into three different degrees in O.C.G.A. § 16-5-70.

First-degree cruelty to children occurs when a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under the age of 18 willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's well being is jeopardized. In addition, cruelty to children in the first degree includes when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

Second-degree cruelty to children occurs when a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

Third-degree cruelty to children occurs when either a person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or a person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery.

The penalty for being convicted of first-degree cruelty to children is a prison term between five and twenty years. It will be treated as a felony conviction. Second-degree cruelty to children in Georgia comes with the consequences of a prison term between one and ten years and it is also a felony conviction. Lastly, cruelty to children in the third degree can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. The first or second conviction will be treated as a misdemeanor.

Practice Note

Contact our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested in the state of Georgia.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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