Violent Crimes In Georgia

If you have committed, or have been accused of committing, any  violent crimes, you need to retain an attorney immediately. These crimes and their punishments are very serious, and you need professional assistance in defending yourself against these charges.

OFFENSES AGAINST A PERSON

WHAT IS ASSAULT AND BATTERY?

Assault and Battery is the act of using or threatening force against another person which results in either bodily injury or offensive touching. It does not need to be intentional; force applied with criminal negligence is sufficient to be considered battery. In addition, the force does not have to be directly applied to the victim. For example, directing a dog to attack someone is considered battery.

WHAT IS AGGRAVATED ASSAULT?

In Georgia, a person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults:

  • With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob;
  • 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
  • A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons.

This offense is punishable by imprisonment from one to twenty years for first offenses, and may be more harshly punished under certain recidivist statutes.

WHAT IS AGGRAVATED BATTERY?

Aggravated battery is a more serious form of battery, and is considered a felony, (i.e. punishable more than a year in prison) unlike simple battery which is a misdemeanor (i.e. punishable by less than one year in prison, or by fine only).  In Georgia, a person commits aggravated battery when they maliciously cause 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.  This is a crime punishable by imprisonment from one to twenty years for first offenses, and may be more harshly punished under certain recidivist statutes.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASSAULT AND BATTERY?

If the victim has been actually touched by the person committing the crime, then battery has occurred. If the victim has not actually been touched, but only threatened, then the crime is considered to be assault.

WHAT IS FALSE IMPRISONMENT?

In Georgia, false imprisonment is a felony that occurss by the unlawful confinement of a person without his valid consent. Generally, false imprisonment is accomplished by force or threat of force. Valid consent must be given of one's own free will; consent obtained by coercion or threat is not considered valid.

WHAT IS KIDNAPPING?

Kidnapping is an aggravated form of false imprisonment. It usually involves the transportation or concealment of the person.

Aggravated kidnapping varies by state, but can include the kidnapping of a child, kidnapping for ransom, kidnapping for the purpose of committing another crime (such as forcing the kidnapped person to commit robbery), kidnapping for the purpose of committing a sexual crime, or kidnapping with the intent of harming the person.

OFFENSES RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON

WHAT IS HOMICIDE?

Homicide is the killing of one person by another. At common law, homicide is classified in three ways:

  • Justifiable homicide, which is commanded or authorized by law, such as the act of a police officer killing an armed suspect who is shooting at him,
  • Excusable homicide, for which there is a legal defense, such as the act of a person shooting an armed intruder in his own home, and
  • Criminal homicide.

Criminal homicide is divided into many different categories.

WHAT IS MURDER?

Murder is the act of killing another human being with "malice aforethought". Malice aforethought is defined to be the intent to kill or to inflict bodily injury, either express or implied. If a deadly weapon is used, intent to kill will necessarily be implied by a court of law.

WHAT IS FELONY MURDER?

In Georgia, felony murder is the death of a human being which occurs during the commission of a felony offense.

WHAT IS VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER?

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person intentionally kills another person after "adequate provocation"; that is, there has been action that was sufficient to incite an "ordinary person" to "sudden and intense passion" such that s/he loses self control. It should be noted that the time between provocation and the killing should not be long enough for the passion to have cooled off.

In most states, "adequate provocation" is defined to be only situations in which there is a threat of deadly force, or in which a person finds his/her spouse in bed with another person. Verbal threats are usually not considered adequate provocation.

WHAT IS INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER?

Involuntary manslaughter generally occurs in only two cases. The first is when someone is killed due to criminal negligence, and the second is when someone is killed during the commission of another crime, where the intent was not to cause bodily injury or death.

SEXUAL OFFENSES

WHAT IS RAPE?

At common law, rape is strictly defined to be "the unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman by a man, not her husband, without her effective consent". (Carnal knowledge requires penetration only, not ejaculation.) In many states, however, laws have been revised to consider situations of a woman and her husband. In addition, in some states the laws may include circumstances of a man (or boy) by another man.

It should be noted that laws vary from courtroom to courtroom on what constitutes effective consent. However, if there has been any force used the act will be considered as rape. In addition, if consent was elicited under duress, it will not be considered "effective" consent.

WHAT IS "STATUTORY RAPE"?

It is any carnal knowledge of a female under the age of consent, whether or not the female was a willing participant. The age of consent varies from state to state, but is generally from 16 - 18 years of age. Again, some states may include in their definition carnal knowledge of a male under the age of consent in that state.  Even if you believed that the female was of the age of consent, you can still be held legally responsible.

Incest, which is usually considered a felony, is either marriage, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual acts between people who are too closely related. The relationship which is considered "too close" varies widely from state to state, although the majority of states only include blood relationships in that category.

OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY

WHAT IS ROBBERY?

Robbery is defined to be the "taking of personal property of another from the other's person or presence by force or intimidation with the intent to permanently deprive him of it". There must be force involved, and the victim must be present. Robbery is considered a felony in all states.

Armed robbery is generally defined to involve the use of a deadly weapon.

WHAT IS EXTORTION?

Extortion in most states is defined as blackmail; that is, obtaining property through the use of either oral or written threats. The threats can be of physical harm, or harm to one's reputation, livelihood, marriage etc.

In some states extortion has only occurred when money or property has actually changed hands as a result of the threat. In other states, just the threat is enough to constitute extortion.

WHAT IS BURGLARY?

Burglary is defined to be the entering or remaining in the dwelling of another, or any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft or other structure, with the intent of committing a felony therein.

WHAT ARE LARCENY AND AND EMBEZZLEMENT?

Larceny and embezzlement are not considered violent crimes.

WHAT IS ARSON?

Arson is defined at common law to be the "malicious burning of the dwelling of another". There must be damage incurred in the building, and the damage must have been caused by a fire (not, for example, an explosion).

In most states, arson has been extended to include other structures besides dwellings.

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