There are many circumstances in which a fight in the home will lead to domestic violence charges. Sometimes, a fight between spouses or domestic partners will escalate to the point where one person strikes out in anger or frustration. In other cases, a person may claim to have been injured in a domestic violence event in order to punish his or her partner when no physical contact actually was made. After the emotions have cleared, the person making the claim might regret it and try to retract the statement, but it might be too late.
The issue of whether to file charges for domestic violence remains with the prosecutor, so a change of heart on the person reporting may not be enough to stop a case going forward to conviction. This criminal record will continue to impact a person’s life forever, interfering with career opportunities, housing, and even gun ownership.
Georgia has a number of different criminal acts that fall within the classification of domestic violence, including:
- Simple assault;
- Aggravated assault;
- Simple battery;
- Aggravated battery;
- Cruelty to children;
- Criminal damage to property;
- False imprisonment;
- Unlawful restraint;
- Stalking; and
- Criminal Trespass.
A person may face domestic violence charges after damaging property. In addition, threats also may result in serious charges. Penalties for domestic violence convictions include an initial charge of a misdemeanor, but of a high and aggravated nature, which means more severe penalties, including serving up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000.00. Additional convictions are felonies, with the potential for a five-year prison term.
There may be a restraining order put in place against a person who has been charged with domestic violence. There must be a hearing within 30 days of the issuance of the protective order and a judge will hear testimony and review evidence about the basis for the order. The court then may grant a Family Violence Protection Order, which remains in place for a one-year period. However, it is possible for that order to be extended for three years or be converted into a permanent order.
Many people in Georgia do not realize that being the subject of a protective order may limit that person’s ability to own firearms or certain types of ammunition. A violation of this law could lead to up to 10 years in prison.
There are other extremely serious consequences of a domestic violence conviction, including a loss of visitation rights with any children. If there are visitations permitted, they may only take place under specific conditions imposed by the court, which may include supervision or participation in a family violence intervention program. It is very important to get an experienced criminal defense attorney working on your behalf as quickly as possible.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC. Aggressively Fights for its Clients
There are many different circumstances that may lead to a charge of domestic violence, but regardless of what happened, it is critical to have the right attorney battling to protect your rights. It is possible to avoid jail time and to get the charges completely dismissed, especially with the right lawyer. The Atlanta Criminal Defense Firm of the Abt Law Firm, LLC. knows how to investigate the evidence and the procedures of a domestic violence case in order to get the best results possible for our clients. If you do not want a criminal record, call us immediately at 1 (800) NO JAIL 9 or 1 (800) 665-2459 and we can help. We offer free consultations and are ready to come to you in jail.