If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in Georgia, make no mistake about it, you could be in serious trouble without the right representation.
The state takes instances of family violence very seriously, and a vindictive spouse or family member could falsely throw you under the bus to cause massive legal problems that will impact every facet of your life.
Unlike most crimes, law enforcement officers have the option to begin investigating an accusation of domestic violence without any additional witnesses or corroborating evidence. Unfortunately, many accused domestic abusers are seen by the general public to be guilty until proven innocent.
That’s why it’s so important to hire a skilled Atlanta criminal defense lawyer to represent you and protect your rights.
But how is domestic violence defined in Georgia? What are some common penalties? How does it differ from other assault cases?
The offices of Schnipper Law, P.C. have compiled the following information to help you better understand the threat that you face when you are falsely accused of domestic violence.
What is Domestic Violence in Georgia?
Georgia State Law defines domestic or family violence as battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, criminal trespass, or any felony committed between:
- Spouses, both current and former
- The parents of the same child
- Parents and children
- Step parents and step children
- Foster parents and foster children
- Anyone who is currently or formerly living in the same household
It should be noted that Georgia specifically excludes instances of “reasonable discipline” on the part of a parent to their child, including corporal punishment, restraint, or detention.
A lot of people believe that the umbrella of domestic violence is limited to romantic couples or parents and children. However, as you can see above, Georgia’s definition of domestic violence extends far beyond that simplistic understanding. If you and a former roommate are in a physical altercation, that is considered to be a form of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence vs. Assault
Simple assaults in Georgia are considered to be misdemeanors and are punished as such. However, the same crime when committed in a domestic abuse situation is taken far more seriously, with penalties that are much harsher.
A misdemeanor battery without the domestic violence label is punishable with a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. A first conviction for family violence battery carries the same penalty. However, a repeat conviction is considered a felony and carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
For a battery to be considered a felony, there would have to be two or more prior convictions, all against the same victim.
Don’t Let a False Accusation Ruin Your Life
As you can see, allegations of domestic violence can have far reaching and damning consequences. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you an experienced and accomlished Atlanta criminal defense lawyer. The offices of Schnipper Law, P.C. are ready to defend you and clear your name. Call us now for a free consultation at 404-458-9507.
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