FAQ - Aggravated Assault In Georgia 2024

Posted by Megan GroutMar 07, 20240 Comments

Aggravated Assault
Questions on Aggravated Assault

FAQ: Aggravated Assault in Georgia 2024

     I published a blog post in 2022 to help answer people's basic questions about being arrested for Aggravated Assault. If you want to look at that for the answers to some questions, click HERE. Those will get you started on the most basic answers and that information is still good even in 2024.

     I've been able to gather some more questions that people often have about Aggravated Assault in Georgia and I have answered them below:

What is the most common scenario for an Aggravated Assault that you see?

     In the cases we see most often, there is some kind of argument between two people where someone ends up threatening the other person with an object that the police decide was dangerous. It doesn't have to be a gun, it can be anything that the police deem to be capable of causing serious injury.

     We also see aggravated assault strangulation cases charged most often as part of domestic violence allegations. I also have had cases where someone swerves their car at another car or person and the police consider that to be an aggravated assault with the weapon being the car. 

No one was hurt. Why am I charged with Aggravated Assault?

     It is surprising to many people that you can be facing such a serious felony for a situation where there were no injuries. But if you look at the definition of simple assault and aggravated assault, there is no requirement of injury. Simple assault is basically just an attempt at hurting someone. Aggravated assault can be when that attempt is with a dangerous object or with intent to murder, rape or rob, or an attempt at strangulation. Of course, Aggravated Assault also covers situations where there were injuries or strangulation, but the injury is not required. 

Can You Get A Bond For Aggravated Assault?

     Yes. It is possible to get a bond for aggravated assault. Since this is a serious charge, sometimes judges will not issue a bond right away, which means your lawyer will need to file a motion to have the bond issue heard in front of a judge. If no bond is issued within 90 days of arrest, and the case is not indicted, the law requires a bond be set. (For an explanation on the 90 day rule in Georgia, click HERE.)  Often, bonds for Aggravated Assault will require additional special restrictions like that you cannot have any contact or no violent contact with the victim. We also often see bonds for Aggravated Assault that require some type of an anger management evaluation be done within a certain amount of time after being release from custody. 

Can Aggravated Assault charges be dropped? Can they be reduced?

     Yes and yes. They absolutely can be. This is a big part of why having a lawyer is so important. Your lawyer will look at the police body camera from the scene, the victim's statements, photographs of any injuries, and any other kinds of evidence to see whether the prosecutors really can prove their case. I have been successful in getting these kinds of cases dismissed or reduced after my investigation revealed things like the victim's story did not match the evidence, that the victim did not tell the whole story, or that the injuries the victim alleged were old and unrelated to the crime alleged. 

     And even if the prosecutors do have a provable case, it does not mean those cases should always result in prison time. I have been very successful in helping my clients avoid prison entirely, even when the State had a strong case with injuries involved. If you are charged with Aggravated Assault, do not be discouraged. There may be lots of options for you and your case to be resolved in a good way.  And if the victim wants to have the charges dropped, read my blog post HERE on how that fact can affect a case.

Can I get probation for Aggravated Assault?

     Probation is a possibility in many Aggravated Assault cases. Some of the factors that will go into whether that is a possibility are 1) the facts of the case (how bad was the assault?) 2) were there any serious injuries? 3) what does the victim want to see happen in the case? and 4) what kind of criminal history do you have? Other factors that always play into every criminal case are what kind of prosecutor and what kind of judge will you have? Are they usually agreeable to probation or do they always want to see some kind of custody time first? 

Can I get First Offender for Aggravated Assault?

     In Georgia, you can be given first offender for Aggravated Assault. This is a great way to protect your record and keep you from having a felony conviction. It also results in having your record on the case restricted. You must be eligible for first offender under the First Offender Act and the judge must agree to it. If you want to learn more about what First Offender means, you can click HERE.  This is always something that your lawyer should discuss with you because if you are eligible for first offender and you do not use it on your first felony conviction, you can no longer use it. 

What if the Victim Over-reacted In the Aggravated Assault Incident?

     Part of the investigation process for a criminal defense attorney is determining the victim's credibility and whether their story matches the evidence. We often see victim's regret their decision to call the police or that they exaggerated what had happened. It is also important to understand that a simple assault requires a reasonable fear and aggravated assault requires (in many cases) that the weapon be likely to cause serious injury if used offensively. So there are lots of ways to argue that a victim may have over-reacted. First, was the victim's fear reasonable? Imagine you threatened someone with a knife, but they were inside their house behind a locked door and you had no way to get in. While the knife is a dangerous weapon, they were not really in danger of receiving an immediate injury so I would fight against any aggravated assault charge. 

Can I do anything to help my Aggravated Assault case?

     Yes. I work with my clients about things they can do while they are waiting for their case to progress through the court system. Sometimes, I am able to get my clients into a diversion program where their charges can be dismissed. In other cases, we can start an aggressive plan to show the prosecutors that you are not a violent person and not a danger to society. The key is to customize a plan that fits exactly to your case and your circumstances. When you take a proactive approach to managing your case, you can really help get your case to a good resolution.

     If you have aggravated assault charges pending in Cobb County, call me even if you don't have a court date yet. We can set up a plan on what you need to be doing now so that we have your case in the best possible position for the long run.