Authorities in Floyd County are on the lookout for Clifford Whatley, who has been accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend, Syveta Sewelll with a machete after an alleged conversation in which he attempted to convince her to get back together with him.
He is facing charges of aggravated battery after the reported attack on August 22, 2018. Sewell is now in recovery from slashes to both her head and her arms. Fortunately, her injuries are not life-threatening.
Once authorities were called that night, they discovered Sewell going in and out of consciousness with a four inch wound on her arm and a large gash in her head. Police reported being able to see her skull through the head wound.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will expand on Whatley's charges in today's post by focusing on the criminal offense of aggravated battery.
Aggravated Battery in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines aggravated battery in Georgia in §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.
In order to properly illustrate, I will include some common examples of aggravated battery. Examples include striking someone with a weapon or shooting someone with a gun.
The disfigurement or injury does not have to be permanent – the injury just has to be more than a merely superficial wound.
Aggravated battery is considered a felony offense in Georgia. In order for the prosecution to convict an accused person, however, they will have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This can only be done through a demonstration showing that the accused person intended to make physical contact, through evidence of the alleged victim's injury, and evidence of the weapon if there is one involved.
As a felony charge, the penalty for a conviction of aggravated battery can include up to twenty years of prison time.
There are cases in which the judge may use discretion in determining if the aggravated battery is better suited as a misdemeanor offense. This will depend the facts of the case including whether or not there was a prior relationship between the victim and the defendant and the extent of the victim's injuries.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, it is important for me to note that not everyone who is accused and arrested for a criminal offense is guilty of committing that offense. It may be the case that you have been arrested for aggravated battery, but the crime you actually committed is that of battery in Georgia (which carries much less penalty).
We are well-experienced in using Georgia Criminal Defenses and in negotiating with the prosecution. If the facts of your case show that you actually committed a less serious offense, we will utilize the defense of lesser included offenses in Georgia and work on more suitable penalty.
There are also cases of wrongful accusations. There are defenses that apply to a wrongful accusation as well. Bottom line – if you or a loved one has been accused of committing a crime in Georgia, it is important that you waste no time in hiring representation today. Contact us now.