Performance Task Assignment #3

Performance Task Assignment #3

Week 8

Assault

Performance Task Assignment #3

Quick Links

Scenario

Task

Rubric

Document Library

CRJ 105 – Crime and Criminal Behavior

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Scenario Case Number: 1111111 Date: 13 August 2016 Reporting Officer: Colt Winchester Incident Type: Crime Against the Person Address of Occurrence: 111 Felony Drive, Happy Town, GA 15486 Witnesses: Alan Skittles: Store owner. Male, 43, Latino Michael Smith: Employee. Male, 21, African American Andrea Sianturi: Customer. Female, 27, Asian American Weapon/Objects Used: Umbrella / Shoe On August 16, 2016, at approximately 20:43, officers responded to 111 Felony Drive in regards to a white male bleeding from his face. The victim, Samuel Clark, was friends with a female, Summer Breeze, that lived at 111 Misdemeanor Lane. Mr. Clark was walking to Ms. Breeze’s residence approximately one block east of Mr. Clark’s residence. As Samuel Clark turned the corner, he observed two white men approaching him. A witness, Alan Skittles, identified the two men as Bubba Hurt and Skeeter Redrum. Both Bubba Hurt and Skeeter Redrum began yelling at Samuel Clark for him to leave Summer Breeze alone and that it was the “last time he put his hands on her.” It began to rain so Samuel Clark opened his umbrella and continued to walk north on Felony Drive. Bubba Hurt shoved Samuel Clark from behind causing Samuel Clark to fall to the sidewalk. When Samuel Clark began to pick himself up from the sidewalk Skeeter Redrum kicked Samuel Clark in the face causing Samuel Clark to fall onto the street. While Samuel Clark was lying on his back in the street Bubba Hurt began to kick Samuel Clark. In response, Samuel Clark grabbed his umbrella and swung, hitting Bubba Hurt in his eye. As Samuel Clark stood up Summer Breeze hit Samuel Clark in the side of his head with her shoe rendering Samuel Clark unconscious. A witness to the incident contacted 911 to respond. Samuel Clark and Bubba Hurt were taken into custody and transported to the hospital. Summer Breeze and Skeeter Redrum were taken into custody and transported to the Police Headquarters. Bubba Hurt died at the hospital and Samuel Clark suffered a permanent brain injury.

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Task Your task as the District Attorney is to determine what charges, if any, for all four individuals involved in this incident. You should support your answer with an understanding of the definitions of simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery. In addition, was self-defense applicable to the scenario provided? Use the self-defense portion (based on Georgia jurisprudence) of the Document Library to formulate your answer.

Formatting Requirements:

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

● Be four pages typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one- inch margins on all sides. All the information you need is in the Document Library.

● Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required assignment page length.

Self-Assessment Checklist:

Use this to check your work before you submit your assignment:

 My paper determines what charges to make, if any, for all four individuals in the provided scenario.

 My paper discusses the definitions of simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery.

 My paper discusses the State of Georgia’s use of self-defense.

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Rubric Grading for this assignment will be based on the quality of your responses, logic/organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.

Points: 300 Assignment 3: Assault Performance Task

Criteria Unacceptable Below 70% F

Fair 70-79% C

Proficient 80-89% B

Exemplary 90-100% A

1. Determine what charges, if any, for all four individuals involved in this incident. Weight: 25%

Does not determine what charges, if any, for all four individuals involved in this incident.

Partially determines what charges, if any, for all four individuals involved in this incident.

Satisfactorily determines what charges, if any, for all four individuals involved in this incident.

Thoroughly determines what charges, if any, for all four individuals involved in this incident.

2. Examine the crime scenario and define the charges as they relate to simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery. Weight: 25%

Does not examine the crime scenario or define the charges as they relate to simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery.

Partially examines the crime scenario and starts to define the charges as they relate to simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery.

Satisfactorily examines the crime scenario and defines the charges as they relate to simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery.

Thoroughly examines the crime scenario and strongly defines the charges as they relate to simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery.

3. Describe the charges in relation to your understanding of self- defense in the State of Georgia. Weight: 25%

Does not describe the charges in relation to your understanding of self-defense in the State of Georgia.

Partially describes the charges in relation to your understanding of self-defense in the State of Georgia. Expanding the description of the charges and the use of self-defense in Georgia would improve this section.

Satisfactorily describes the charges in relation to your understanding of self- defense in the State of Georgia. The relationship between the charges and your understanding of self- defense is evident, but could use additional supporting details.

Thoroughly describes the charges in relation to your understanding of self- defense in the State of Georgia. The relationship between the charges and your understanding of self- defense is solid and well-supported.

4. Clarity, writing mechanics, and formatting requirements. Weight: 25%

More than 6 errors present.

5-6 errors present. 3-4 errors present. 0-2 errors present.

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Document Library

CLERKS OFFICE: HAPPY TOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT

INCIDENT INFORMATION FORM

Date:

13 August 2016

Case Number:

1111111

Reporting Officer:

Colt Winchester

ARRESTED DOB HEIGHT WEIGHT RACE GENDER PRIORS

BUBBA HURT 01/05/1990 6’05 290 lbs W M Y

SKEETER REDRUM

05/14/1992 6’0 185 lbs W M Y

SUMMER BREEZE

07/05/1996 5’07 145 lbs W F Y

SAMUEL CLARK

11/12/1975 5’09 175 lbs W M Y

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CLERKS OFFICE: HAPPY TOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT

INCIDENT INFORMATION FORM

WITNESS(S)

Date:

13 August 2016

Case Number:

1111111

Reporting Officer:

Colt Winchester

NAME ADDRESS PHONE # OCCUPATION AGE RACE GENDER

Alan Skittles

114 FELONY DRIVE, HAPPY TOWN, GA.

444-555-777 STORE OWNER EAT & RUN CAFE 43 H M

Michael Smith

111 MISDEMEANOR DR, HAPPY TOWN, GA.

444-111-3333 EMPLOYEE EAT & RUN CAFE 21 B M

Andrea Sianturi

136 FELONY CIRCLE HAPPY TOWN, GA.

444-999-4444 RETAIL SALES SOCKS FOR FEET 27 A F

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CRJ 105 – Crime and Criminal Behavior

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CRJ 105 – Crime and Criminal Behavior

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MEMORANDUM

To: Patrol Division From: Chief of Police Rodney Hurt Date: July 10, 2016 Subject: PROACTIVE EXPECTATIONS

Earlier this month a memorandum titled Proactive Expectations for Zone III was issued to all Patrol Division personnel. The purpose of the memorandum was to establish increase patrols in Zone III of Happy Town. As a result, incidents has increased in Zone IV significantly and specifically the 100 block of Felony Drive.

As a result of a news story, citizen complaints and information from Vice and Narcotics there has been a significant increase in prostitution and drug activity in this area. Beginning July 15, 2016 there will be designated patrol officers working with Vice and Narcotics to increase visibility and take a proactive approach in resolving this issue.

We will be closely monitoring the progress for the upcoming months to ensure the citizens of our city that they are safe. Remember, when it comes to enforcement efforts, our emphasis should be the quality of your service.

Rodney Hurt

Chief of Police Happy Town

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Georgia Assault and Battery Laws

Code Sections

Simple Assault: O.C.G.A. §16-5-20

Aggravated Assault: O.C.G.A §16-5-21

Simple Battery: O.C.G.A §16-5-23

Aggravated Battery: O.C.G.A §16-5-24

What is Prohibited

Simple Assault: Attempting to commit a violent injury on someone else or putting them in a situation where it’s reasonable they can be injured in such a manner. No actual physical touching is necessary to violate the law. Words can be enough. For example, threatening to break someone’s neck, if done in a menacing manner, can be considered simple assault.

Aggravated Assault: Assaulting someone: (1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob; (2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or (3) Shooting a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.

Simple Battery: (1) Intentionally making physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another; or (2) Intentionally causing physical harm to another person.

Aggravated Battery: Intentionally and maliciously inflicting a serious injury to the victim, such as loss of a limb, loss of use of a limb, or serious disfigurement.

What is “Serious Disfigurement?”

Any kind of physical alteration to another person’s body, such as a visible scar on someone’s face or other body part; or a broken bone that alters one’s physical appearance

Penalty Simple Assault: Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail, fines reaching $1,000, probation, and restitution. Can be elevated to a “high” and “aggravated” misdemeanor with enhanced penalties (up to 1 year

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in jail and $5,000 fines) if the assault committed involved a firearm, public transportation, a pregnant woman, a public school employee, a senior citizen, or if it was a domestic assault (committed against a family member).

Aggravated Assault: Felony: One to twenty years in prison, fines, restitution.

Simple Battery: Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail, fines up to $1,000, probation, and restitution. Can be elevated to a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature if it’s determined the victim was pregnant, over 65, a police officer, a caregiver, school employee, or if the crime is domestic. This misdemeanor is also punishable by up to one year but carries potential fines up to $5,000.

Aggravated Battery: Felony: one to twenty years in prison minimum, fines, restitution.

Who Prosecutes this Crime?

Georgia District Attorney’s Offices

Hate Crimes

O.C.G.A. §17-10-17. If someone commits an assault or battery or any crime against a victim because of bias or prejudice, such as racial or gender bias, the court must impose a more severe penalty than would be normally imposed for the crime (according to court or local policy), but no greater than the maximum sentence permitted under the statute. The offender must serve at least 90% of the sentence before being released (offenders serving sentences in jail or prison generally serve less than the sentence imposed because of “good time” credit or early release programs for good behavior).

http://statelaws.findlaw.com/georgia-law/georgia-assault-and-battery-laws.html

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GEORGIA CRIMINAL CODE

Title 16

2010 GEORGIA CODE TITLE 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES CHAPTER 5 – CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON ARTICLE 2 – ASSAULT AND BATTERY § 16-5-20 – Simple assault

O.C.G.A. 16-5-20 (2010)

16-5-20. Simple assault

(a) A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either: (1) Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or (2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. (b) Except as provided in subsections (c) through (h) of this Code section, a person who commits the offense of simple assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (c) Any person who commits the offense of simple assault in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. For purposes of this Code section, “public transit vehicle” means a bus, van, or rail car used for the transportation of passengers within a system which receives a subsidy from tax revenues or is operated under a franchise contract with a county or municipality of this state. (d) If the offense of simple assault is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. In no event shall this subsection be applicable to corporal punishment administered by a parent or guardian to a child or administered by a person acting in loco parentis. (e) Any person who commits the offense of simple assault against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

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(f) Any person who commits the offense of simple assault against an employee of a public school system of this state while such employee is engaged in official duties or on school property shall, upon conviction of such offense, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. For purposes of this Code section, “school property” shall include public school buses and stops for public school buses as designated by local school boards of education. (g) Any person who commits the offense of simple assault against a female who is pregnant at the time of the offense shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. (h) Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to permit the prosecution of: (1) Any person for conduct relating to an abortion for which the consent of the pregnant woman, or person authorized by law to act on her behalf, has been obtained or for which such consent is implied by law; (2) Any person for any medical treatment of the pregnant woman or her unborn child; or (3) Any woman with respect to her unborn child. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “unborn child” means a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.

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TITLE 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES CHAPTER 5 – CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON ARTICLE 2 – ASSAULT AND BATTERY § 16-5-21 – Aggravated assault

O.C.G.A. 16-5-21 (2010)

16-5-21. Aggravated assault

(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults: (1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob; (2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or (3) A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons. (b) Except as provided in subsections (c) through (k) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of aggravated assault shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. (c) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated assault upon a peace officer while the peace officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (d) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. (e) (1) As used in this subsection, the term “correctional officer” shall include superintendents, wardens, deputy wardens, guards, and correctional officers of state, county, and municipal penal institutions who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35 and employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice who are known to be employees of the department or who have given reasonable identification of their employment. The term “correctional officer” shall also include county jail officers who are certified or registered by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35. (2) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated assault upon a correctional officer while the correctional officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or

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her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (f) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault in a public transit vehicle or station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. For purposes of this Code section, “public transit vehicle” has the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-5-20. (g) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault upon a person in the course of violating Code Section 16-8-2 where the property that was the subject of the theft was a vehicle engaged in commercial transportation of cargo or any appurtenance thereto, including without limitation any such trailer, semitrailer, container, or other associated equipment, or the cargo being transported therein or thereon, shall upon conviction be punished by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 20 years, a fine not less than $50,000.00 nor more than $200,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment. For purposes of this subsection, the term “vehicle” includes without limitation any railcar. (h) A person convicted of an offense described in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (i) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault involving the use of a firearm upon a student or teacher or other school personnel within a school safety zone as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-127.1 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (j) If the offense of aggravated assault is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years. (k) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated assault with intent to rape against a child under the age of 14 years shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 25 nor more than 50 years. Any person convicted under this subsection shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2. (l) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated assault upon an officer of the court while such officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. As used in this subsection, the term “officer of the court” means a judge, attorney, clerk of court, deputy clerk of court, court reporter, court interpreter or probation officer.

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2010 Georgia Code

TITLE 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES

CHAPTER 5 – CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON

ARTICLE 2 – ASSAULT AND BATTERY

§ 16-5-24 – Aggravated battery

O.C.G.A. 16-5-24 (2010)

16-5-24. Aggravated battery

(a) A person commits the offense of 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. (b) Except as provided in subsections (c) through (h) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of aggravated battery shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years. (c) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a peace officer while the officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. (d) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery against a person who is 65 years of age or older shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (e)(1) As used in this subsection, the term “correctional officer” shall include superintendents, wardens, deputy wardens, guards, and correctional officers of state, county, and municipal penal institutions who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35 and employees of the Department of Juvenile Justice who are known to be employees of the department or who have given reasonable identification of their employment. The term “correctional officer” shall also include county jail officers who are certified or registered by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35. (2) A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a correctional officer while the correctional officer is engaged in, or on account of the performance of, his or her official duties shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. (f) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery in a public transit vehicle or

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station shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. For purposes of this Code section, “public transit vehicle” has the same meaning as in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-5-20. (g) Any person who commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a student or teacher or other school personnel within a school safety zone as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-127.1 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years. (h) If the offense of aggravated battery is committed between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons excluding siblings living or formerly living in the same household, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 20 years.

2010 Georgia Code TITLE 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES CHAPTER 5 – CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON ARTICLE 2 – ASSAULT AND BATTERY § 16-5-25 – Opprobrious or abusive language as justification for simple assault or simple battery

O.C.G.A. 16-5-25 (2010)

16-5-25. Opprobrious or abusive language as justification for simple

assault or simple battery

A person charged with the offense of simple assault or simple battery may introduce in evidence any opprobrious or abusive language used by the person against whom force was threatened or used; and the trier of facts may, in its discretion, find that the words used were justification for simple assault or simple battery.

Georgia Aggravated Assault & Battery Laws

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GEORGIA CRIMINAL CODE

TITLE 16

SELF DEFENSE

2010 Georgia Code TITLE 16 – CRIMES AND OFFENSES CHAPTER 3 – DEFENSES TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS ARTICLE 2 – JUSTIFICATION AND EXCUSE O.C.G.A. 16-3-21 (2010)

16-3-21. Use of force in defense of self or others; evidence of belief that force was necessary in murder or manslaughter prosecution (a) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force; however, except as provided in Code Section 16-3-23, a person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. (b) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) of this Code section if he: (1) Initially provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant; (2) Is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony; or (3) Was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other, notwithstanding, continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force. (c) Any rule, regulation, or policy of any agency of the state or any ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation, or policy of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state which is in conflict with this Code section shall be null, void, and of no force and effect.

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(d) In a prosecution for murder or manslaughter, if a defendant raises as a defense a justification provided by subsection (a) of this Code section, the defendant, in order to establish the defendant’s reasonable belief that the use of force or deadly force was immediately necessary, may be permitted to offer: (1) Relevant evidence that the defendant had been the victim of acts of family violence or child abuse committed by the deceased, as such acts are described in Code Sections 19-13-1 and 19- 15-1, respectively; and (2) Relevant expert testimony regarding the condition of the mind of the defendant at the time of the offense, including those relevant facts and circumstances relating to the family violence or child abuse that are the bases of the expert’s opinion.

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LEGAL PRESUMPTIONS

What is Aggravated Assault?

The act of inflicting bodily harm on someone, or causing them to fear bodily harm is considered a crime in the U.S., regardless of whether actual physical harm occurs. For example, John is walking down the street carrying a bag of groceries. Bob, who is walking toward John, makes a fist and tells John to move over or he will hit him. John is stunned, and so does not move over immediately. Bob swings his fist at John’s face but misses, and John sprints away in fear. Bob may be charged with simple assault as he caused John to reasonably fear that he would suffer bodily harm if he remained.

Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault

Most states classify assaults as simple or aggravated according to the circumstances surrounding the offense. Simple assault is most commonly recognized as an attempt or threat to injure another person without actually striking them or causing bodily harm. Aggravated assault occurs when the crime is taken a step further, such as when a weapon is used, or the harm or threat takes place in certain circumstances. For instance, threatening a person with a fist is often considered simple assault, but if a perpetrator threatens another person with a baseball bat, it would be considered aggravated assault.

Example of Aggravated Assault

If Bob, from the example above, moves his jacket aside to show to John that he is carrying a gun in his belt, he would likely be charged with aggravated assault, rather than simple assault. This would be true, even though he did not make a physical attempt to hit or shoot John, because he made a threat with a weapon, causing John to reasonably believe he would be harmed.

Deadly Weapons

A deadly weapon is any item that can be used to cause serious or fatal injury to a person or animal. Deadly weapons include such weapons as guns and knives, but other instruments can be considered deadly if they are used to threaten or attack someone. Such weapons of opportunity may include boards, baseball bats, rocks, bricks, ice picks, letter openers, tools, or any object that could cause serious harm or death.

In some jurisdictions, people with HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) who have had unprotected sex with a person not aware of the disease have been charged with using a “deadly weapon.” The reasoning is that a person who knows he carries HIV exposes another to the deadly virus basically assaults the other person with a weapon capable of causing death.

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Degrees of Aggravated Assault

Many states break down the crime of assault even further than the basic and aggravated assault charges in some jurisdictions. By using first- through fourth-degree classifications, the judicial system is able to take into account the exact nature of the offense.

▪ First-Degree Aggravated Assault – refers to a deliberate act in which the perpetrator used premeditated malice. The perpetrator must have had the intent to cause, or to attempt to cause, serious bodily injury (also “great bodily harm”).

▪ Second-Degree Aggravated Assault – refers to a deliberate act in which there was no premeditation. This takes into account the mental state of the perpetrator at the time of the assault.

▪ Third-Degree Assault – refers to an act in which the perpetrator attempts to cause less serious bodily harm, making this a common charge when two individuals are involved in a fight.

▪ Fourth-Degree Assault – refers to minor threats of harm, or causing the victim to fear being harmed.

Great Bodily Harm

The term “great bodily harm” is used interchangeably with “serious bodily injury,” “grievous bodily harm,” and “great bodily injury.” These terms refer to injuries that cause extreme physical pain, unconsciousness, serious or permanent injury or disfigurement, or long-term loss of function of any organ or body part. Great bodily harm also refers to the infliction of any injury that creates a substantial risk of death.

CRJ 105 – Crime and Criminal Behavior

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STATUTORY LAW

In Georgia, assault and battery crimes consist of simple assault, aggravated assault, simple battery, battery, and aggravated battery. This article concerns simple assault and battery laws. For information on aggravated assault and aggravated battery, see Georgia Aggravated Assault & Battery Laws.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is a misdemeanor in Georgia. The crime is an attempt to cause physical injury to another person – for instance, attempting to strike someone with a hand or object, and missing. Simple assault also is any intentional act or threat of action that reasonably causes a person to feel afraid of impending violence. Threatening to beat up someone or to knock him out, when said in a menacing or angry manner, is assault if it appears that the assailant has the ability to carry out the threat and the victim believes or could reasonably believe that he is about to be struck or injured.

(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-20).

The Georgia legislature also has criminalized, as a simple assault, any attempt to injure an unborn child, except for the purpose of abortion or medical treatment for the mother or fetus.

(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-28).

Simple Battery and Battery

Simple battery, a misdemeanor, is actual offensive physical contact, such as punching another person or hitting someone with an object. Hitting another person with a fist during an argument or shoving someone are straightforward examples of simple battery. The physical act must be intentional, rather than an accident or a joke among friends, but no specific intent to injure is required. A more unusual example of simple battery is grabbing and ripping someone’s clothing in anger. This is considered a touching because the clothing is an extension of the person.

(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-23).

Battery in Georgia involves intentionally causing “substantial physical harm” or “visible bodily harm” and also is a misdemeanor. Visible harm is defined as physical harm visible to others, such as blackened eyes, a swollen lip, or significant bruises.

(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-23.1).

Simple Assault, Simple Battery and Battery as Aggravated Misdemeanor

Simple assault, simple battery and battery are generally misdemeanor crimes under Georgia law. In certain cases these crimes can be charged as aggravated misdemeanors, which carry more severe penalties. Assault or battery on certain victims including but not limited to, a family member or intimate partner, a person 65 years of age or older, or a public school

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employee engaged in his duties are aggravated misdemeanors. Assault or battery in a public transit station or vehicle or on public school property, including school buses and school bus stops, are aggravated misdemeanors, as well as battery against a law enforcement officer and battery or simple assault against a pregnant woman.

(Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-5-20, 16-5-23, 16-5-23.1).

For information on aggravated assault and aggravated battery, see Georgia Aggravated Assault & Battery Laws.

Defense to Assault or Battery

The Georgia statutes provide that, if a victim uses “opprobrious or abusive language” against the offender, the language may be considered justification for the offender’s threatening behavior or use of force and, therefore, a defense to the crime of assault or battery. Examples of such language are egregious insults or racial slurs, but the language must rise to a level of abusiveness that justifies the amount or type of force used. If the language is mildly abusive or insulting and the offender reacts with significant violence, the language will not justify the crime committed.

(Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-25).


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