Morris Ellis has been charged with aggravated battery after he allegedly fought a man over a handicapped parking spot. The incident occurred in Barrow County, and the alleged victim is on life support as a result. According to reports, he fell over backward and sustained a head injury during the altercation and now, he has a traumatic brain injury.
There are three different types of battery in the state of Georgia. Ellis is facing the most serious - aggravated battery, but it's important to understand all three kinds.
1. Simple Battery in Georgia
According to Georgia law, a person commits simple battery in Georgia “when he or she either (1) intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another, or (2) intentionally causes physical harm to another” (O.C.G.A. §16-5-23).
The penalty if found guilty or convicted of simple battery is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia. The punishment may include jail time of up to one year and a fine up to $1000.
2. Battery in Georgia
According to Georgia law, 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).
Substantial harm or visible bodily harm must be obvious such as substantially blackened eyes, substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts, or substantial bruises to body parts.
The penalty if found guilty or convicted of battery is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia. The punishment may include jail time of up to one year and a fine up to $1,000.
3. Aggravated Battery in Georgia
According to Georgia law, a person commits aggravated battery in Georgia “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).
Some examples of aggravated battery are:
- Battery including striking another person with a weapon/dangerous object,
- Battery including shooting another person with a gun,
- Battery where the alleged victim suffers temporary disfigurement,
- Battery where the alleged victim suffers permanent disfigurement or other serious physical injury, or;
- Battery that targets particular people groups that are protected such as police officers, healthcare providers, social services workers, or the elderly and developmentally disabled.
In order to prove that Ellis is guilty, the state of Georgia will be obligated to show that Ellis is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the prosecution must demonstrate that Ellis intended to make physical contact, and that the man he allegedly fought suffered an injury. They will have to present evidence of his injury as well as the severity of his injury. The question of his disfigurement will be a question for the jury.
If Ellis is found guilty of aggravated battery, he will receive a sentence of one to twenty years of imprisonment. The amount of prison time that Ellis will be sentenced to will be up to the judge. 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.
If you or loved one has been charged with simple battery, battery, or aggravated battery, you need the representation of a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer who can provide you with applicable Georgia Criminal Defenses. Contact us today.