Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Fight Concerning a Social Media Post Provides Example of the Difference Between Battery and Aggravated Battery in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

DeKalb County is seeking 17-year-old Meshon Williams who they say fired 31 shots in an incident over the weekend on Sweetgum Lane.

The altercation ended with a 6-year-old boy in critical condition.

According to reports, the residents and the shooter were having a fight over a social media post.

Before he drove away, Williams allegedly stopped, got out of his vehicle and fired at the house. The 6-year-old boy, Z'Mari Mitchell, was hit by one of the bullets.

Williams is now wanted on charges of aggravated battery, according to police.

Battery in Georgia

Georgia Law defines battery in Georgia as:

A person commits battery in Georgia when he or she intentionally causes substantial harm or visible bodily harm to another. O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1.

The most important part of the offense of battery is the substantial harm or visible bodily harm. 

The harm must be obvious such as: 

  • Substantially blackened eyes, 
  • Substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts, 
  • Or substantial bruises to body parts. 

A battery conviction means that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor in Georgia, and the punishment may include jail time of up to one year and a fine up to $1,000.

Aggravated Battery in Georgia

Georgia Law defines aggravated battery in Georgia as: 

A person commits 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. O.C.G.A. §16-5-24.

The main difference between battery and aggravated battery is the serious disfigurement. Georgia courts do not require that the a victim's disfigurement be permanent, but the injury must be more severe than a superficial wound. 

Examples of aggravated battery are:

  • Striking a person with a dangerous object,
  • Hitting someone so hard that they suffer a broken bone,
  • Shooting someone with a gun,
  • Or pistol-whipping someone in the face.

An aggravated battery conviction means that a person is guilty of a felony, and the punishment may include a sentence of one to twenty years of imprisonment. The judge will look at the evidence about the circumstances, the extent of the injuries received by the victim, the relationship between the victim and the suspect, and more to decide the amount of prison time.

In the event of a conviction for aggravated battery, prison time is an absolute certainty as it is considered one of the most serious crimes in Georgia.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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