Kiara Gresham has been charged with aggravated battery after she allegedly used a box cutter to slice open her boyfriend's stomach during what was reported as a domestic dispute in Clarke County. According to reports, the man's wounds were so severe that his intestines were exposed.
Remember that this is what has been reported, and she has only been indicted by a grand jury as of this point. Gresham has been released on a $8,000 bond and is awaiting her arraignment.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to focus on the offense of aggravated battery and explain how it applies to the facts that have been reported.
Aggravated Battery in Georgia
In order to properly understand aggravated battery, it's important to understand the base crime of battery in Georgia which is defined by the Georgia Code as:
A person commits the offense of battery when he or she intentionally causes substantial harm or visible bodily harm to another. O.C.G.A. §16-5-23.1.
Aggravated battery in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code 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 biggest difference between battery and aggravated battery is the victim's serious disfigurement. To be convicted of aggravated battery, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be done several ways. If the battery was based on physical injury, then the prosecution must present not only evidence of the injury, but also the severity of the injury. The jury will almost always decide whether or not the disfigurement is considered severe. If the battery was committed with a deadly weapon, then the prosecution must provide evidence about the weapon.
Aggravated battery is considered one of the most seriously violent crimes in Georgia, and therefore, prison time is guaranteed. Aggravated battery is classified as a felony, and the prison sentence if convicted is a period of imprisonment up to twenty years.
As I mentioned above, Gresham is awaiting her arraignment. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Everyone accused of a crime has this presumption of innocence.
Although this is an extremely violent crime, there are Georgia Criminal Defenses that apply which may result in a complete dismissal if wrongfully accused or in a Georgia Lesser Included Offense. These defenses can include:
- Accidental battery without malicious intent
- Instrument is not a deadly weapon
- Self-Defense in Georgia
- Defense of Others in Georgia
- Defense of Property in Georgia