Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23.1, the offenses of battery and battery – family violence are punished as misdemeanors. However, the same exact offense, under three sets of circumstances can transform this misdemeanor into a felony.
Battery Against the Same Victim
A person commits the offense of battery when he or she intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another. A first or second offense against the same victim will result in misdemeanor punishment.
But, upon a third or subsequent conviction for battery against the same victim, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Battery – Family Violence
If the offense of battery is committed between household members (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 living or formerly living in the same household), it shall constitute the offense of family violence battery and is punished as a misdemeanor.
However, if the defendant has previously been convicted of a forcible felony committed between household members, he or she shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Or, if a person is convicted of a second or subsequent offense of family violence battery against the same or another victim, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, please contact our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.