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What are the penalties for domestic violence crimes in Georgia?

| Dec 6, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Georgia’s domestic violence statute was formally known as the Family Violence Act. It protects family members in the state from emotional, sexual and physical abuse at the hands of their relatives and loved ones. It applies to romantic partners, whether they’re married or not. It also covers kids, whether they’re blood-related, stepchildren or foster kids and their parents. This piece of legislation also covers other people who formerly resided in the same home with one another. Individuals who violate this law face stiff penalties for doing so.

Anyone who claims that they’ve been subjected to domestic violence at the hands of another individual may petition a judge for a Family Law Protective Order. The initial restraining order that may be put in place may be an emergency order. It may be written to remain in effect up until the judge can hold a hearing in the case. A judge may decide to sign off on a more permanent protective order after weighing the evidence presented in court.

Protection orders have one primary goal. They’re intended to keep an abuser away from their victim. An individual who violates a protective order may be held in contempt of court. If a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor, then they may have to pay a $1,000 fine and be sentenced to as long as a year in jail. A defendant can be charged with a felony if they engage in aggravated stalking.

Any number of crimes including assault, battery, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint and stalking all fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Some of these criminal offenses are misdemeanors whereas others are felonies.

Any defendant who is convicted of such a crime in Georgia may be ordered to perform community service, take anger management classes or pay a fine. A convicted defendant may also be sentenced to probation or jail time depending on the nature of their offense.

Having an active protection order out against you may affect custody arrangements and your ability to continue residing in your home. A conviction for domestic violence on your permanent record may affect your ability to qualify for certain professional licenses or to land certain jobs.

A criminal defense attorney in Cartersville can advise you of strategies that you may be able to pursue in your case when your future seems uncertain.