What You Need to Know About Domestic Crimes
In decades past, a domestic dispute between a couple was considered a personal matter best left inside the walls of the home and not up for police scrutiny. In more recent years, domestic crimes have been taken more seriously, and rightfully so. Even though the crimes are taken seriously by those involved, law enforcement and courts, there are still some common questions pertaining to domestic crimes that persist.
1. Can I Run Out of Time to Press Charges?
It is not unusual for victims of domestic abuse and violence to wait to call the police. These victims struggle with the decision to get law enforcement involved. There is, though, a time limit for pressing charges. This is essentially to protect people from false allegations. For a misdemeanor accusation, the statute of limitations is generally two years in Georgia. For a felony accusation, it’s four years.
2. Should I Get Involved In Other People’s Troubles?
Many people hesitate to get involved in other people’s business. This is simply a matter of human nature. That said, some wonder if they should call the police if they believe they hear or witness a domestic dispute. The answer is yes. If a situation has risen to the point of being seen or heard by the public, you could be saving someone from great harm by becoming involved.
3. Do I Have Legal Rights If I Believe I Am Being Stalked?
Domestic abuse does not always mean that you are being struck. Domestic crimes can also be psychological and emotional in nature. If you believe that a current or ex-partner is stalking you at your home or in public, you have rights. Call the police to report your suspicions.
4. Do I Have the Right to Drop Charges I Press?
If you call the police to report domestic violence, you may regret that decision later, either out of fear or threat. Dropping the charges is not always simple. In fact, in many states, the victim does not have to press the charges. Police officers are permitted to press charges on the victim’s behalf.
5. If I Am Convicted of Domestic Violence, Can I Own a Gun?
In most cases, a person convicted of domestic violence is not permitted to own a firearm. If you have questions with regard to your lawful right to possess or own a firearm, speak with your attorney or the local police department.
Domestic abuse is not taken lightly by law enforcement. If you are charged with domestic violence, you are facing serious consequences. A conviction could change your life forever.
If you have been arrested for a domestic crime in DeKalb County, we are here for you. Call the office of Hawkins Spizman Fortas to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your charges and arrest and advise you of your legal options. We are prepared to defend you to the full extent of our capabilities.