In Georgia, domestic violence is defined as Family Violence, which is an umbrella term that covers several different relationships between the parties. It includes anyone who has lived in the same home, such as boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives. If two people are not currently living together but did so at one point, then an incident that occurs between them could be considered family violence. There are a host of crimes under family violence that result in additional penalties, including battery, simple assault, and simple battery.
How Serious Are Allegations Of Domestic Violence?
The allegations are extremely serious. If the charge is, for instance, that you hit your wife, girlfriend, or child, and if it’s a misdemeanor offense, a bond will be set for your release. As a condition of that bond, the State of Georgia will prevent you from contacting the alleged victim. This is a standard practice that the courts abide by which allows for a cooling-off period.
If you violate this bond condition while you’re out, then you are subject to re-arrest for a new crime of Violating Bond. You are also subject to having your initial bond revoked for violating the No Contact provision. Depending upon how it was violated, the charge can be elevated to a felony called Aggravated Stalking, which is an offense for which you may not be able to bond out. So, unfortunately, it has the effect of immediately cutting you off from your family.
Are Orders Of Protection Automatically Put In Place In A Domestic Violence Scenario?
Orders of protection can be automatically put in place in a domestic violence scenario. There are two types of protections.
The first is the previously outlined condition of bond that prevents contact with a named victim upon release from jail.
The second is a protective order that can be initiated without actually having an arrest. These are civil proceedings. This type of protection order can be a restraining order that evicts someone from the home, curbs communication, and prevents third-party contact by phone or email. It is, of course, up to a judge, but orders of protection are probably issued in 95% of cases. There are methods of addressing these types of orders with the courts, but the timing varies widely between jurisdictions.
How Is A Domestic Violence Charge Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
Misdemeanor domestic violence includes Simple Assault, which is a threat to do harm to another person, and Simple Battery, in which the accused makes contact with another person but doesn’t leave a visible injury. Examples of Simple Battery include pulling hair, spitting, slapping, or punching if no visible injury results. Misdemeanor domestic violence also includes Family Violence Battery, which requires that the injury be perceived by others. Examples of this include a bloody nose, a black eye, a cut, scratch, bruise, and other things of that nature. All three of these are misdemeanors, but with increasing penalties.
If a person has already had a previous Family Violence Battery conviction, then an additional Family Violence Battery conviction would be a felony.
More serious felonies would be Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery. Aggravated Assault usually involves the use of a weapon, but it can also involve the use of hands for choking or strangulation. Aggravated Battery would occur if a batterer actually made contact with someone and caused disfigurement or a broken bone.
Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and the felonies are punishable from one to 20 years in prison or on probation.
For more information on Domestic Violence In Georgia, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (678) 726-5400 today.