If you have been accused of domestic violence, get legal help immediately. In these situations, it is crucial to analyze the relationship to reach the best possible results — like a dismissal or reduced charges.
What is Domestic Violence in Georgia?
Domestic violence does not necessitate the involvement of married partners. Georgia defines domestic violence as crimes committed by family members, including:
- Current or former spouses
- Dating individuals (couples)
- People who presently or formerly lived in the same household
- Parent-child relationships (including biological, step and foster)
Domestic violence includes simple assault, assault, simple battery, battery, wrongful restraint, stalking, criminal trespass and some other offenses.
What You Should Do Following a Domestic Violence Accusation
Georgia has more domestic violence cases than people realize because many are dropped before trial. However, you will not know if your case can be dropped unless you speak with a defense attorney. Therefore, you can prepare for a trial in the meantime by doing the following things:
- Securing the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney is paramount.
- Gather evidence, including videos, records, documents and anything you can think of that may prove you are not guilty or that may minimize the charges.
- Create a witness list, including name and contact information, but do not contact them without your lawyer.
- Do not talk to witnesses, the accuser or the police, no matter how tempting, because it will cost you in court. Before starting any conversation, speak with your attorney and give your accuser time to consult theirs.
Reasons a Prosecutor May Drop a Domestic Violence Case
In some circumstances, the defendant and alleged victim settle outside of court and ask the prosecution to withdraw the accusations. In others, the putative victim may be uncooperative, have an inconsistent story, have made false accusations before or lack proof.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can help clients accused of domestic violence pursue these options to avoid punishment.
Georgia Domestic Violence Penalties
Georgia takes domestic violence seriously and punishes it more harshly than crimes between strangers.
An initial domestic violence battery charge is a $1,000 fine, upward to $5,000, and 12 months in jail; subsequent convictions are felonies with a maximum five-year prison sentence. Domestic violence convictions may affect parental rights, causing one to lose custody while having to pay child support. In addition, the child can get protective orders, after which contacting the child is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or 12 months in jail (or both).
Domestic violence charges in Georgia can have lasting effects. Being convicted can create problems in your personal and professional life long into the future. For example, you may suffer future employment difficulties. Employers in Georgia may not hire someone with a conviction, concerned that it could impact job performance or public confidence.
Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges in Georgia
M. Qader A. Baig & Associates, LLC can help you handle a domestic violence case. Contact our practice immediately to avoid complications.