In the state of Georgia, acts of physical violence against another person can result in criminal charges. However, it is important to remember that you have the legal right to defend yourself and others from harm in certain situations.
Assault and battery charges in Georgia
When a person intentionally makes physical contact with another person in an “insulting or provoking” way or intentionally cause physical harm to another person, they could be charged with simple battery, under Georgia law.
Under Georgia assault laws, no physical act is necessary to be charged with assault. For a simple assault charge, prosecutors must show that there was an attempt to injure someone else or acting in a way that places them in reasonable apprehension of imminent harm is considered a criminal act.
Georgia residents have a right to defend themselves
If you have been charged with assault and/or battery, you may avoid conviction if you can prove that you were acting in self-defense. Under O.C.G.A. 16-3-21, using force to defend oneself or others is legally justified if:
- You reasonably believed force was necessary to protect yourself or another person against imminent use of force.
- The level of force you used was reasonable.
- If you used deadly force, you reasonably believed it was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm to you or another or to prevent forceable felony.
If you were the initial aggressor or you committed or attempted to commit a felony, deadly force will not be justified.
If you were acting in self-defense, a criminal defense attorney can help gather the necessary evidence to establish that defense to the court. A well-established defense strategy can help you avoid a criminal conviction and the serious consequences that go along with it.