Domestic violence charges can result in jail time, fines, and likely compliance with restraining orders, which in Georgia, are referred to as temporary protection orders (TPOs). While domestic violence is a serious crime, highly-charged family emotion can sometimes lead to false or exaggerated allegations.

Whatever the reason, if you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, contact a Marietta domestic violence lawyer right away to discuss your case. An experienced criminal attorney can help analyze your options and determine the right course of action for you. En Español.

Understanding the Georgia Family Violence Act

Georgia’s Family Violence Act (FVA) basically protects family members from being abused by other family members. To be charged with domestic violence or family violence under the FVA, there must be a special familial relationship between the accused and the accuser, and the accused must allege certain offenses.

The relationship between the accused and the accuser. The types of relationships which form the basis of a Marietta domestic violence claim include parents and children, parents of the same child, spouses (past and present), stepparents, stepchildren, and foster parents and children.

Defining Domestic Relationships

People living in the same household or lived in the same household previously are also included in the list of domestic relationships. Marietta domestic violence lawyers have seen that these relationships may include aunts, uncles, cousins, girlfriends, boyfriends, and more.

Claimed Offenses

These eight offenses form the basis for a domestic violence claim in Marietta:

  • Battery: Pushing, shoving, and intentionally making physical contact in a provoking nature with does not necessarily result in physical harm. This is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, probation, and restitution.
  • Aggravated Battery: Causing visible body harm. This is a felony punishable by one to 20 years in prison minimum, fines, and restitution.
  • Assault: Causing a reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. This is a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, probation, and restitution)
  • Aggravated Assault: Actually assaulting another. This is a felony punishable by one to 20 years in prison, fines, and restitution.
  • Stalking: Following, watching, or contacting another person without their consent to harass or intimidate that person. Stalking in Georgia is generally a misdemeanor, but can become a felony for subsequent abuses. It is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • Criminal damage to property: Intentionally damaging any property of another or maliciously interfering with their possession or use of the property without their consent. This is a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison and fines.
  • Unlawful Restraint: Knowingly and intentionally restraining another person without that person’s consent and without legal justification. Classifications and punishments may vary
  • Criminal Trespass: Intentionally defacing, defiling, or mutilating any grave marker, monument, or memorial. It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, plus fines.

Hiring a Lawyer

Although first offenses may be considered misdemeanors, subsequent offenses will likely be considered felonies and result in jail time, fines, and more. In addition, TPOs may be issued, which could affect child visitation, force you to leave your home, prevent you from contacting your loved ones, and more.

If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact a  family violence attorney who can assess your pending charges, possible defenses, and explain how the process works. With so much on the line, it is important to make sure you have an experienced Marietta domestic violence lawyer on your side.