Decatur, Ga. - According to reports out DeKalb County this past week, a fight that broke out on a MARTA bus led to the hospitalization of a 19-year-old man.
Authorities believe that the fight started near Wesley Chapel Road and resulted in gunfire soon after. Fortunately, no one else on the bus was injured. The teenager is currently in critical condition and the suspect has been arrested on charges of aggravated assault.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus the bulk of today's post on the offenses of assault and aggravated assault so as to provide some clarification around what aggravated assault constitutes under Georgia Law.
Assault and Aggravated Assault in Georgia
Assault in Georgia is the base offense of the crime of aggravated assault. The Georgia Code defines assault in O.C.G.A. §16-5-20 as:
A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either (1) attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or (2) commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.
A conviction for assault in Georgia will be treated as a misdemeanor. The penalty can include a period of confinement of up to one year and up to $1,000 in fines.
Aggravated assault in Georgia is defined in the next statute by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21 as:
A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults:
with intent to murder, to rape, or to rob;
with a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury;
with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation; or
without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.
To be found guilty of aggravated assault, the prosecution must show that the suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that there must be a demonstration of violence coupled with an apparent present ability to inflict an injury that causes a person to fear that they will receive an immediate violent injury.
Unlike assault, aggravated assault is classified as a felony offense in Georgia. The penalty for an aggravated assault conviction is a prison term between one to twenty years.
Aggravated assault is classified as a serious violent felony in Georgia. The consequences of an aggravated assault conviction are far-reaching.
If you or a loved one is facing an arrest in Georgia, contact our offices now. We can help you with your case.