Georgia Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence, which is also often referred to as family violence in Georgia, doesn’t necessarily refer to a single crime, but rather to a category of offenses that are committed between certain people, namely those who are in a domestic relationship. Whatever the circumstances, domestic violence accusations are taken very seriously in Georgia and could result in the issuance of an Order of Protection and other penalties. To ensure that your own interests are protected during your domestic violence proceedings and that you are not unfairly punished for a crime you didn’t commit, please call our experienced Georgia domestic violence lawyers today for help.
Defining Family Violence
Under Georgia law, domestic violence is defined as the occurrence of specific acts between certain individuals, including:
- Past and present spouses;
- Parents of a shared child;
- Parents and children, including stepparents and stepchildren and foster parents and foster children; and
- Those who live or formerly lived together in the same household.
Certain offenses, when committed between these individuals, qualify as domestic violence, including:
- Any felony crime;
- Battery or simple battery;
- Simple assault and assault;
- Criminal property damage;
- Unlawful restraint; and
- Criminal trespass.
It’s important to note that victims cannot choose to drop or press charges once a case has been submitted to the prosecutor by a law enforcement agency. Instead, the decision to proceed with the prosecution of a case is in the sole discretion of the state. In fact, charges can even be prosecuted without the cooperation of the victim if there is enough independent evidence to prove that the elements of the crime have been satisfied.
It is not uncommon, in domestic violence cases, for courts to issue protective orders, which can fulfill a number of purposes, including:
- Barring the accused from engaging in certain acts;
- Granting a spouse possession of the family home and excluding the other spouse from the premises;
- Requiring the accused to provide suitable alternate housing for a spouse and his or her children;
- Awarding temporary custody to one party and establishing visitation;
- Ordering either party to pay child support or spousal maintenance;
- Barring the accused from harassing the alleged victim; and
- Ordering either party to attend therapy or obtain appropriate treatment.
Violating one of these orders can have serious consequences, resulting in a misdemeanor conviction and potential jail time. With this in mind, it is important for those who have been ordered to comply with a restraining order, to speak with an attorney about the terms of the order and how to avoid violations.
Experienced Georgia Domestic Violence Lawyers
Being convicted of domestic violence can have serious repercussions, damaging personal relationships, affecting custody rights, and even making it difficult to secure employment. For these reasons, coming up with a strong defense is of the utmost importance to those who have been unfairly accused of domestic violence. For help coming up with a defense strategy, or to learn more about your domestic violence charges, please call 770-209-2310 and set up a free consultation with a dedicated member of the experienced Georgia legal team at Hawkins Spizman today.