Aggravated Assault versus Attempted Murder Charges in Georgia

Aggravated Assault versus Attempted Murder Charges in Georgia

Most people believe that any crime involving murder will result in the most serious type of criminal charge. But certain technical details involving aggravated assault charges in Georgia make them more challenging to defend — and subject to potentially more severe penalties than even attempted murder convictions.

The term, attempted murder states that the defendant performed actions with the specific intent of killing someone. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, states that a defendant used an object on another person that could cause serious injury, whether or not the victim actually suffered injury in the attack, and regardless of intent.

According to the Houston County District Attorney, charging aggravated assault offers two distinct advantages for the prosecution:

  • The prosecution does not have to prove the intent of the defendant.
  • For complex reasons, Georgia law imposes a maximum of ten years imprisonment for attempted murder convictions. Aggravated assault carries a 20-year maximum sentence that requires offenders to serve 90 percent of the sentence before qualifying for parole.

The burden of proof is on the prosecution in any criminal case, and proving intent in the mind of a defendant is not necessary when the prosecution charges aggravated assault. This is why the prosecution seldom charges attempted murder. But an experienced defense attorney in Georgia still has an arsenal of legal tools and techniques to effectively establish reasonable doubt in the minds of a jury.

The attorneys at Gentry, Smith, Dettmering, Morgan, Schnatmeier & Collins, LLP, have more than five decades of combined experience on both the prosecution and the defense side of criminal cases. We remain at your side to protect your rights throughout the criminal process, conduct thorough investigations and provide an aggressive defense in court.

Contact us today to set up a consultation.