If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence or are concerned about a possible situation involving domestic violence, it is very important to secure the advice of an experienced Alpharetta domestic violence lawyer.
Being charged with a crime of domestic violence is a serious and stressful matter. Convictions for domestic violence have grave consequences, including a criminal record and, in some cases, prison time. Not only that, but a domestic violence or family violence offense can have a profound impact on someone’s relationship with their family if they are the subject of a protective order. Many people imagine domestic violence as only a matter between husbands and wives. In truth, Georgia’s definition of domestic violence is broad and types of charges can be complicated. Talk to an experienced attorney today.
Domestic Violence Laws in Georgia
Domestic violence law in Georgia is found in the Family Violence Act. The law applies to people in the following relationships:
- Spouses (both current and former)
- People who are parents of the same child
- Parents and children
- Stepparents and stepchildren
- Foster parents and children
- People who live or have lived in the same household
Georgia law penalizes alleged acts of domestic violence more harshly than the same act where there is not a family relationship. For example, someone convicted of the misdemeanor of battery under Georgia law can be punished by up to one year in prison. The same is true for an act of battery that is also an act of domestic violence. However, for the second conviction of battery where there is also domestic violence, the conviction becomes a felony with up to five possible years in prison. The crime of battery is governed by O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23.1. Consult with an Alpharetta domestic violence/family violence lawyer for more on the laws in Georgia.
It is also important to be aware of the nature and consequences of family violence. A person can petition the court for a protective order for themselves and also for a minor child. If a judge finds an act of family violence has occurred, they may order the person who allegedly committed the act to stay away from the alleged victim, and even to vacate a shared home.
Protective orders are civil in nature and having one issued against you is not a criminal punishment. However, violating a family violence protective order is a criminal offense punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. For this reason, it is important to seek legal counsel if you have had an ex parte protective order issued against you and received notice that there will be a hearing.
Family violence protective orders can be renewed and even become permanent. Family violence protective orders are covered by O.C.G.A. § § 19-13-3 and 19-13-4. If someone has received notice that another person is seeking a protective order against them, or been charged with a crime of domestic violence, there are possible defenses. For example, Georgia law expressly protects the parent’s right to reasonably discipline their child. An attorney will investigate the case and determine what grounds there might be to fight the charges.
Contact an Alpharetta Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know is charged with a crime of domestic violence, seek a tough, experienced Alpharetta domestic violence/family violence attorney to guide you and defend you. How the case is handled can have long-term consequences for you and your family.