Domestic violence in the state of Georgia constitutes certain criminal acts between particular family members. Individuals must understand that certain prohibited violent acts that occur between members of a family frequently result in greater potential penalties than individuals who are not protected under family violence laws.
Individuals in the state of Georgia who are charged with domestic violence frequently require the assistance of a skilled defense attorney like the legal counsel at Yeargan, Barber & Kert. Individuals should also understand some important information about domestic violence.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence
Georgia considers domestic violence as encompassing any commission of assault, battery, criminal damage to property, criminal trespass, stalking, or unlawful restraint between two individuals that have a particular relationship. This relationship can include: current or former spouses, foster parents and foster children, individuals who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and children, or any individuals who currently or formerly living in the same household. Individuals must understand that Georgia’s definition of family violence expressly excludes a parent’s reasonable discipline of a child in the form of corporal punishment, detention, or restraint.
Potential Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
Many acts involving domestic violence are punished more severely than the same acts that are committed between two individuals who are not involved in a domestic relationship.
While being convicted of battery when no domestic relationship exists results in individuals facing up to twelve months and a maximum of one thousand dollars in fines, first convictions of battery when a domestic relationship exists results in the same penalty. Subsequent convictions of batter that occurs inside a domestic relationship, however, results in individuals facing a maximum of five years in prison.
Simple assaults in the state of Georgia are also mostly charged as misdemeanors that result in individuals facing less to one year in jail. Simple assaults that involve family members, however, are punished as misdemeanors with particularly strict consequences.
The Role of Law Enforcement in Investigating Domestic Violence Charges
Law in the state of Georgia places particular requirements and prohibitions on law enforcement officers who investigate allegations of family violence. A law enforcement officer’s decision to make an arrest and charge an individual with an act of domestic violence is prohibited from being based on the victim’s consent or only on the victim’s request that the individual who committed the act be arrested.
Instead, law enforcement officers must identify the individual who committed the act, fully complete a Family Violence Report containing identifying information, the involve prohibited behavior, and whether children were involved in the act. Individuals must understand that being charged with domestic violence allegations can have a variety of significant negative repercussions including social stigma, job hardships, and the loss of some civil liberties. The legal counsel at Yeargan, Barber & Kert has the compassion to strongly defend an individual’s case against false allegations of domestic violence.
The Role of Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Situations
An individual who claims to have suffered family violence is permitted to file a petition in the superior court in an effort to obtain a protective order. These protective orders can also be filed on behalf of a minor child.
Protective orders can help achieve a variety of purposes including ordering an individual to cease the violent acts that might have been brought against the order, forcing an individual to leave their house, forcing an individual to find suitable housing for the individual and/or their children, award temporary custody of children and establish temporary visitation rights, order an individual to make alimony or child support payments, awarding possession of property shared by both parties, ordering individuals to stop harassing or interfering with the victims, or award the cost of attorney’s fees.
The court might also issue a temporary protective order, called an ex parte order, after the judge determines that the individual seeking the order has been the victim of family violence and is at risk of being subjected to family violence again. A hearing on the petition will be held within thirty days of the filing of the petition provided that the parties do not agree to hold a hearing later than thirty days from filing a request for the order.
In many cases, temporary protective orders are issued in divorces to temporarily control situations. In order to issue a temporary protective order, a court must find that an act of family violence occurred. The same defenses that are utilized in defending a charge of domestic violence are also used in decisions rather to issue a temporary protective order.
While ex parte orders last a much less shorter amount of time, courts are permitted to extend a family violence protective order from one year to three years or even sometimes make the order permanent in nature. An individual who violates a family violence protective order will be subject to particular strict penalties. The crime of violating a protective order can be punished by twelve months in jail and a one thousand dollar fine or in some situations, both.
Retain the Services of our Skilled Domestic Violence Attorneys
Seasoned legal counsel is often able to help individuals who have been charged with temporary protective or family violence protective orders. Our firm understands the severe consequences that can result from these types of charges and will fight tirelessly to make sure that an individual’s care resolves in the best possible manner.
For individuals in the state of Georgia who are charged with committing family violence, it is a wise idea to consider speaking with an experienced attorney. Skilled attorneys like the lawyers at Yeargan, Barber & Kert can help evaluate an individual’s case and advise about all of the potential defenses so that an individual’s case can resolve in the best possible manner. Our attorneys can help an individual make sure that their case resolves in the best possible manner as well as represent individuals before a jury in the event that the domestic violence case proceeds to trial. If you are charged with domestic violence, do not hesitate to contact our skilled and experienced attorneys today.