Normally when we are reading the news or our local social media we use for news, we see stories pop up about battery committed by someone and occasionally we see a news story about the simple battery charges involving an officer. Rarely, however, does the news get something involving a Battery charge happening by way of the officer using excessive force on someone who is in custody. Although Battery cases can happen to anyone we don’t see the excessive force charges that often, with 2020 being the exception. You may not realize it, but it we have seen A LOT of excessive force complaints throughout the country. Why is this particular charge important? Mostly because it involves someone in custody, usually handcuffed, unable to defend themselves and literally being beaten and sometimes, it causes their death.
This is the position that Georgia Chief of Police Kent Lawrence now finds himself facing according to WSBTV, 95.5 news and the Union Recorder. The charges themselves involve one county of Battery and Two counts of Simple Battery. These charges are the result of a arrest by the Eatonton Police Department of a Female who was in custody for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, GBI, has been called in to evaluate and investigate these accusations.
Many people however don’t consider the implications of the charges until they happen to them. Many people don’t realize that the crime of Simple Battery can happen to anyone, but certain circumstances are required to make the charges become greater to aggravated battery. Aggravated battery is defined in O.C.G.A. 16-5-24 and involves maliciously causing bodily harm to another by depriving them of a member of their body (like an arm, finger etc), rendering that member useless or seriously disfiguring their body or a member of their body. In this case, aggravated battery may be questionable unless some action disfigured the victim or caused some portion of her body inoperable. Assault and battery alone are serous charges and may be more applicable than the felony charge of aggravated battery which can carry up to 20 years in prison.
The offense of Simple Battery is defined by the statute from O.C.G.A. 16-5-23 and Battery is defined in O.C.G.A. 16-5-23.1. In part, these statute states that a person commits the offense of simple battery when they intentionally make physical contact of insulting or provoking nature or causes harm to another. In this case simply un consented touching could qualify for the offense. The offense of Aggravated Assault is defined by the statute from OCGA 16-4-21 In part, these statute states that a person commits the offense of Aggravated Assault when they use an object device or instrument offensively against another.Which is slightly different from Simple Assault where the act alone is sufficient.
These charges were brought by the District Attorneys office after excessive force was used against a Female in custody for DUI. Of course there are facts to every case where defenses can be raised for anyone charged with the crimes of Simple Battery or Battery. Each situation is different from the other and requires a evaluation of all the information in order to properly mount a defense and a effective negotiation with the prosecutors office.