Domestic violence defense on Tybee Island
Domestic Violence is no joke. Hundreds of thousands of families fall victim to abuse from a loved one at one point or another. This is a traumatic situation that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For various reasons, Georgia law favors the victim’s rights over the rights of the accuser. But what this ends up meaning is a spouse doesn’t hardly have to provide any evidence to get his or her partner arrested for domestic violence charges. And these charges are nothing to mess around with.
Domestic violence under Georgia law is “the occurrence of any felony, battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and step children, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household, and does not include reasonable discipline administered by a parent to a child in the form of corporal punishment, restrain or detention.”
Offenses against family members almost always result in greater penalties than identical acts committed against persons who aren’t protected by family violence laws. A run-of-the-mill battery conviction typically would result in a misdemeanor and a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail with a $1,000 fine. However if the battery is against a family member as listed above, the crime is a felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison. See the difference?
When law enforcement unavoidably gets involved in a family violence dispute, they must complete a Family Violence Report that contains information about the nature of the alleged abuse, and whether children were directly or indirectly involved. What happens sometimes is the accuser changes his or her mind about the abuse, but it is the officer’s duty to determine whether or not an arrest needs to be made. So even if the accuser decides to take back the accusation, the wheels have already started turning in the justice system and usually it’s too late.
This also happens with protective orders. Once filed, it’s difficult to go back. If someone has filed a protective order against you for any reason but then decides they want to make contact, do not do it! Any person who violates a term of a family violence protective order may be charged criminally with up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence or violating a protective order, contact me today at 912-472-4285 for a consultation.