Aggravated Assault in Georgia is defined as Assault by the Use of a Deadly Weapon, or with the Intent to Murder, Rape, or Rob. An Aggravated Assault can also occur where there is no weapon if a person uses their hands to strangle another person. Georgia Law defines that as Aggravated assault by strangulation, and it is considered as serious as an Aggravated Assault using a weapon.
There is some confusion about what constitutes strangulation, which may lead to this charge being misapplied. Aggravated Assault strangulation requires an act that is likely to or actually does result in some type of strangulation of the victim.
Aggravated assault by strangulation is a serious charge that can result in stiff penalties. It is important that you hire an experienced law firm to defend you against this charge. However, you should still do your research so that you can actively participate in your own defense.
What Constitutes a Strangulation Charge?
In the past, Georgia law defined strangulation as impeding someone’s circulation or breathing with pressure on their mouth, nose, or throat. However, this definition is no longer used. Instead, the charge of aggravated assault by strangulation may be used when someone allegedly uses their hands or a device offensively in a manner that either results in strangulation or is likely to result in strangulation.
As “strangulation” is no longer defined in the statute, this charge is sometimes applied whenever someone puts their hands around another person’s neck. However, an experienced Aggravated Assault Strangulation attorney can effectively argue this could actually be a misdemeanor battery.
Is Aggravated Assault By Strangulation a Felony?
Aggravated assault by strangulation is a felony in Georgia. This charge is often laid when a misdemeanor battery charge is upgraded to a felony. This is especially common in domestic violence cases.
What Are the Penalties For Aggravated Assault by Strangulation?
As aggravated assault by strangulation is a felony, it carries stiff penalties. The penalty for those convicted of this charge ranges from 1 to 20 years in prison. Depending on the circumstances and the alleged victim of the crime, the law requires mandatory minimums of 3 years and 5 years with maximum of 20 years in some circumstances.
What is Aggravated Assault Strangulation – Domestic Violence?
Aggravated Assault Strangulation- Domestic Violence results when an Aggravated Assault- Strangulation occurs between people in some type of Domestic Relationship. If the Aggravated Assault Strangulation occurs between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, or persons living in or formerly living in the same household, it is considered Aggravated Assault- Domestic Violence and carries a mandatory sentence anywhere from 3-20 years in prison.
That means if you are charged with aggravated assault by strangulation involving a family member, the minimum sentence increases to three years in prison. However, the Police and State often don’t have the evidence to prove this type of charge. As it is very common for this charge to result when a misdemeanor Battery – Family Violence charge is upgraded, you may be facing this increased minimum sentence.
People who are facing this charge are often also facing other charges related to the same incident. The penalties from all these charges could run either consecutively or concurrently. That is why it is so important to hire an Experienced Aggravated Assault- Strangulation Attorney.
Possible Defenses Against an Aggravated Assault by Strangulation Charge
Strangulation Did Not Occur Or Was Not Likely To Occur
This is one of the most common defenses against a strangulation charge. Unlike the other defenses against this charge, this is specific to the allegation of strangulation. It is common for people to be charged with this crime if they touch another person’s throat without their consent. However, if the accused did not apply pressure or they did not wrap their hands around the victim’s throat, their attorney may argue that strangulation not only did not occur, it was also not likely to occur. In this case, the charge may be downgraded to misdemeanor battery.
Self-defense is a common defense against aggravated assault charges of all types. This defense requires that you prove that you were reasonable to fear serious harm. Additionally, you must prove you were unable to flee from an assault. If your attorney can show you were reasonably defending yourself or others, you are immune from prosecution for the charge. However, you also cannot have provoked the threat of harm.
Defense of Others
If you were acting in defense of others, you may have a legitimate defense against an aggravated assault charge. Like a Self-Defense argument, if you are acting in Defense of Others you are immune from Criminal Prosecution. You have to believe that another person is in danger of being harmed. Also, the person who you are protecting must believe that they are in danger of being harmed. Further, the means of your defense cannot be more threatening than necessary to defend against the harm.
It may sound a bit strange, but if you had the alleged victim’s consent, you have a strong defense against an assault charge. This most often occurs during a consensual sexual act. It is possible that law enforcement officers could misinterpret the situation and charge you with felony assault by strangulation. This could also occur if you and the alleged victim were roughhousing or training in martial arts. It is important that the alleged victim states that you had their consent when you choose to use this defense.
Hire a Leading Law Firm to Defend Yourself Against These Charges
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault by strangulation, you should hire a top-notch law firm immediately. It’s important to find a leading law firm that has experience defending clients charged with aggravated assault. Our attorneys are former Fulton County Prosecutors who have both Prosecuted and Defended those charged with this crime. We know how the State will try to fight your case. Our lawyers know the best ways to argue against these charges.
If you or a loved one are facing a charge of aggravated assault by strangulation, hire The Freedom Lawyers for your defense. Contact The Freedom Lawyers today for a free consultation to begin getting the legal assistance you need. You only have one chance to fight for your Freedom. The only choice is to hire The Freedom Lawyers.