Police are searching for a suspect who has been accused of shooting several people outside of a nightclub in Atlanta.
According to reports, the shootings occurred early last Sunday morning off of Brady Avenue in NW Atlanta. Officers were immediately dispatched and discovered several people injured with gunshot wounds. Fortunately, none of the victims are suffering from life-threatening injuries.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offenses of assault and aggravated assault in Georgia.
Assault and Aggravated Assault in Georgia
Assault in Georgia is defined by 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.
Assault is classified as a misdemeanor. The penalty can include a period of confinement of up to one year and up to $1,000 in fines. The offense of aggravated assault is an elevated version of the original crime of assault.
Aggravated Assault in Georgia is defined by 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.
Aggravated assault is classified as a felony. The penalty can include a prison term between one to twenty years. Furthermore, there are specific situations in which the penalty for aggravated assault is already specified in the statute:
- Assault upon a peace officer while conducting their official duties,
- Assault upon a person who is 65 years old or older,
- Assault against a correctional officer while they are engaged in their official duties,
- Assault in a public transit vehicle or station,
- Assault during the commission of theft of a commercial vehicle transporting cargo,
- Assault involving a firearm on a student, teacher, or any other school personnel on school property,
- Assault between past or present spouses, foster parents and foster children, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, or other person living in a house,
- Assault with intent to rape a child under 14 years old, or
- Assault on an officer of the court while they are engaged in their official duties.
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