By: Larry Kohn, a Domestic Violence Attorney near me in Metro Atlanta, defending clients charged with violent crimes for over 20 Years.
Violent crimes in the state of Georgia are taken very seriously and can result in long-lasting consequences if you are convicted. Jail time for domestic violence in Georgia is not uncommon, when facts are egregious. Some of our toughest cases have involved abusive behavior in front of children, sexual violence, psychological abuse, bodily injury in assault cases, attacks on teens for revealing sexual orientation to a parent who then physically abused the child.
This dynamic may be greatly affected by whether our legal team can limit the criminal charges to simple assault vs domestic violence (DV).
The role of a domestic violence lawyer Atlanta is to strenuously defend his or her client in the face of what can seem like a mountain of police evidence. Damaging testimony from a family member about issues such as abusive partners, a person’s “controlling behaviors,” domestic violence and assault, or an abusive relationship can lead to a temporary protective order in some cases.
If you are facing domestic violence charges in GA, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight on your behalf. Our domestic battery lawyers near me (in metropolitan Atlanta counties) deal with domestic abuse cases involving verbal abuse and physical touching.
What is Domestic Violence and How Does GA Law Define “Family Members?”
Domestic Violence Definition. Domestic violence law, found in O.C.G.A. 19-13-1, also known as family violence law in Georgia, covers charges involving abuse within a household or family. To define violence (in this context) the Georgia Code covers the following charges in its domestic abuse definition:
“Committing any felony, battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, and criminal trespass.”
“Domestic” definition. Plus, in DV cases, abuse can be emotional or physical, and does not only relate to current spouses or children, or to a current intimate relationship. According to GA law, even intimate partners are defined as “family members.” The Georgia Domestic Relations code O.C.G.A. 19-13-1 defines family members as:
- Parents of the same child or children
- Current spouses (husband, wife) or former spouses
- Children and parents
- Foster children and foster parents
- Stepchildren and stepparents
- Other persons currently living or previously living in the same residence
Penalties for family violence crimes are more severe and enduring than people realize. If the parties involved are in a domestic relationship, first-time convictions are misdemeanors and can result in the offender serving up to 12 months in jail and paying a fine of $5,000.00.
Is domestic violence a felony in Georgia? Any following convictions will be felonies, which are punishable by jail time for up to five years. A conviction can substantially impact your future as well, for example, Federal law prohibits anyone with a domestic violence conviction to possess a firearm.
What Are Court-Ordered Protective Orders?
A court-ordered protective order, known legally as a Family Law Protective Order, can be issued by a judge when the threat of violence or intimidation is a reality between one or more family members. The most common family protective orders issued involve a wife and husband, or a parent and child.
Other protective orders are granted when there is the threat of harm between foster parents and foster children, stepparents and stepchildren, and other persons either currently living together, or formerly living in the same household.
A Family Law Protective Order temporarily prohibits an offender from having any contact with the victim who has requested the court’s protection. The victim can request protection personally, by filing a petition through the Superior Court in their jurisdiction, or the request can be made with assistance from their domestic violence lawyer.
To alleviate any immediate threat, the court may enter an Ex Parte order. These temporary orders are only granted if the petition provides probable cause of the threat or if the court presumes there is a high probability the threat or harm will reoccur. Once the order is granted, the accuser must present the facts of the case to a judge, within ten days from the issuance date but no more than thirty days.
If, after the court order is issued, and the offender violates the stipulations of the protective order (restraining order), he or she can be arrested and put in jail. Each violation is considered a criminal act or an indirect “contempt of court,” and the violator will be subject to fines and jail time depending on the severity.
What Stipulations Can a Judge in Georgia Put in the Restraining Order?
- Deny all contact, both physical and by telephone and text, initiated by the offender
- Issue a bench arrest warrant when the abuser breaks the law
- Order the offender to leave the residence
- Require the offender to help pay for temporary housing for the victim
- Take away child visitation rights normally offered the offender
- Temporarily grant the victim child custody
- Order mandatory counseling like anger management classes
- Order that the abuser pay the legal fees and court costs of the victim
The State of Georgia treats family violence offenders very harshly, especially when the victim is a child. The previously mentioned order is only temporary and will not suffice long-term for child custody. Family violence protective orders need to renewed annually, for most cases, some may extend the order for up to three years or even become permanent.
Get Immediate Help with Your Georgia Domestic Violence Case
Atlanta domestic violence defense attorney Larry Kohn and ex-cop Cory Yager want to hear your side of the story, and gather all the facts to see if all legal guidelines were followed. Being charged with abuse by your spouse can be heartbreaking and terrifying, but an arrest is not a conviction.
Both Mr. Yager and Mr. Kohn began their legal careers after law school with legendary Atlanta Georgia domestic violence lawyer, William Head. The 44-year veteran criminal defense attorney began his law practice in 1976.
Give yourself the edge in court, by retaining the best lawyer for domestic violence. Creative solutions and asserting the defense issues needed to minimize the harm of these criminal charges is usually the best solution. Call today to speak to a partner at our Georgia law firm to speak with one of our criminal defense lawyers regarding your case. In the 19-county metro area, a domestic violence Atlanta GA criminal law attorney near me is what you need.
Our law partners are available twenty-four hours a day, (404)567-5515. In many situations, our lawyers have come straight from our homes to a county jail to assist our client with having a bond set, for his or her release.
At Kohn & Yager, LLC., our law group understands Georgia’s domestic violence laws and the harsh penalties you could face because of being convicted for breaking these laws. Our criminal law firm serves clients in several counties across Georgia, including these Metro Atlanta counties:
Good people find themselves in these situations all the time. When you meet with our criminal attorneys near me, you will be treated like family when you come in for your FREE lawyer consultation near me. Call our law office 24 HOURS A DAY: 404-567-5515.
Other related information and links, to answer additional questions:
Statute of Limitations, Georgia Domestic Violence is 4 years.
Read the Domestic Violence GA law under O.C.G.A. 19-13-1
Learn more about the Georgia Domestic Violence Laws under O.C.G.A. 19-13-2 and O.C.G.A. 16-5-90
National domestic violence hotline number: 1-800-799-7233.
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