Savannah Assault Lawyer
Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault
A simple assault is a misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to 12 months in jail and $1,000 in fines in a conviction. Simple assault is the charge if it is believed that there was an attempt to violently injure another, or if the alleged victim was not injured but claims to have been in fear of immediate violent injury. Aggravated assault is a far more serious felony offense that will be filed when there are allegations that there was an assault upon another person with intent to murder, rob or rape. This is the charge when there was any form of assault that involved the use of a deadly weapon. The prison sentence imposed in a conviction for an aggravated assault could be as long as 20 years as well as fines.
If you or a loved one has been charged with simple assault or aggravated assault, getting the right Savannah criminal defense lawyer protecting you is an urgent matter. You could lose your freedom for years if you are not professionally defended by a seasoned trial lawyer. At our firm, The Schneider Law Firm, we have extensive experience developing powerful and compelling defense cases that are far more likely to win at trial, as well as in engaging in meaningful and productive negotiations with the prosecutor. Our founder, Cris Schneider, is a former prosecutor himself and understands the process of working with the other side to seek a reduced charge or sentence when this is the most favorable option for the accused.
What to do if you are Charged with Assault in Savannah
If you have been accused of committing an assault, it is important that you make the right moves so you are protected as much as is possible. These are the steps to take if you are placed under arrest for simple or aggravated assault:
- Exercise your right to remain silent.
- Be respectful to law enforcement and do not resist, fight or argue, as that could result in added charges for resisting.
- Do not engage in conversations with any "friendly" officer who appears to want to help you.
- Once you have been booked and are allowed to make a call, get in touch with a Savannah criminal defense lawyer you can trust.
- Never agree to any questioning without your lawyer physically present to advise you and protect you.
How Penalties are Imposed in an Assault Conviction
The judge has leeway in sentencing, and will look at several factors in coming to a decision. These include the following:
- Your criminal record and whether you have prior convictions.
- The level of injuries sustained by the victim.
- Any use of a weapon in the assault.
- Whether the assault was considered a "hate crime."
- Whether the assault was considered a "gang crime."
- The sentencing guidelines in the State of Georgia.
- Mandatory minimum sentences that do not allow for the judge's discretion.
Georgia has some of the toughest sentencing guidelines of any state, and for several crimes, including an aggravated assault in a rape case does not allow for parole eligibility or time off for good behavior – 100% of the sentence must be served. This places a defendant in a position of extreme danger if accused of aggravated assault. The Seven Deadly Sins Act abolished parole for 7 violent felonies including rape.
Definition of a Deadly Weapon: A Grey Area
When charged with aggravated assault due to the use of a deadly weapon, it may be a shock to find out a deadly weapon can be almost anything – including hands and feet. If it is alleged that you used any item in an assault, whether a firearm, knife, or even a household item, beer bottle, bat, club, or any other item as a weapon, you will be most likely be facing charges of aggravated assault.
Contact our firm immediately if you are facing charges for simple assault or aggravated assault.