Here at Hawkins Spizman Fortas, we understand the seriousness and sensitivity of domestic crimes in Atlanta and the surrounding area. Domestic crimes typically occur between two people who have some kind of relationship, generally romantic or familial. According to Georgia Code 19-13-1, crimes that fall into this category include:
- Assault (simple and aggravated)
- Battery (simple and aggravated)
- False imprisonment/kidnapping
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal damage to property
The only instance in this list in which the perpetrator and victim do not need to be connected in order for the crime to be considered domestic is stalking. Otherwise, they must be: current or former spouses, parents of the same child, parents/children or must be living/have lived in the same household. Because the victims and perpetrators often have such a close relationship, courts tend to hand down harsher penalties for domestic crimes. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, call an experienced Georgia domestic crimes lawyer today at 770-651-0166 for a free case evaluation.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF DIFFERENT DOMESTIC CRIMES
The Georgia legal code lays out criteria for different domestic crimes, and when these crimes escalate from misdemeanors to felonies.
- Assault: A simple assault is one in which one person attempts to violently injure another person, or acts in such a way that the other person has a reasonable expectation they will be violently injured in the immediate future. An aggravated assault is one in which the perpetrator intends to rob, rape or murder. It may also include a deadly weapon or any other object that may cause severe bodily harm.
- Battery: Simple battery occurs when a person causes substantial or visible physical harm to another person. Aggravated battery includes maliciously injury by: rendering a body part useless, depriving a person of a body part entirely or causing severe disfigurement.
- False imprisonment/kidnapping: False imprisonment includes confining a person against their will, and without legal authority. Often, this is done so through threat and/or force. Kidnapping is a more serious form of false imprisonment. It involves abducting someone with force and moving them, even just from one apartment to the one next door.
- Stalking: When one person follows another, places them under unlawful surveillance or contacts them with the purpose of harassment, it is considered stalking. This may be done physically/in person or through online means, such as social media or email. When a person violates a protection order, they may also be charged with stalking.
- Criminal trespass: This crime is rather self-explanatory, at least in part. When a person unlawfully enters upon private property — land, vehicle or otherwise — they are considered a criminal trespasser. This law also includes intentionally and unlawfully causes property damage equaling no more than $500, or unlawfully prevents use of property.
- Criminal damage to property: There are two degrees of criminal damage to property in Georgia. A charge in the first degree includes interfering with or damaging property in a way that endangers human life, or interferes with any public service (communication, water, gas, power, etc.). A charge in the second degree includes unlawful, intentional damage to another person’s property greater than $500, or use of fire or explosives to cause damage.
SPEAK NOW WITH A GEORGIA DOMESTIC CRIMES LAWYER
The most important thing to remember is that a charge is NOT a conviction. If you have been accused of any of the above crimes in Georgia, you have legal options. An accusation can damage your reputation, but they do not have to be a permanent mark on your record. Contact a Georgia domestic crimes lawyer at Hawkins Spizman Fortas today for a free case evaluation. In these kinds of cases, every day counts. Call now!