What Should I Do If I Have Been Charged with Domestic Violence?

What Should I Do If I Have Been Charged with Domestic Violence?

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you should consult with an attorney immediately. There are things that you might do that can negatively affect your case. The biggest of these is violating the conditions of the bond. When folks get arrested, the first thing they want to do is reach out to the other person, apologize, or offer an explanation. That contact – whether it is done by a text or a telephone call – can be very damaging to their case because it acknowledges that something took place and may result in an admission of guilt. It’s the act of violating a condition of bond that places them in a position whereby that information is revealed to the state by the alleged victim. This can result in their bond being revoked and a longer sentence in jail than they would have received on the underlying charge.

What Are The Collateral Consequences Of Having A Domestic Violence Conviction On Record?

A state domestic violence conviction will result in a lifetime ban from possessing a firearm. Georgia doesn’t do anything about it, but the federal government does. The conviction puts you on a disqualification list to be able to purchase a firearm. Since you’re disqualified to purchase one, you can’t possess one. If you do possess one, you can be prosecuted under federal law. That prohibition also prevents you from getting a job where you would be required to possess a firearm, like law enforcement, probation, parole, and private investigation. It also complicates being investigated in any sort of security context. In addition, the conviction stays on your record forever, and there is no way to get around the current prohibition.

What Are Some Defense Strategies That Can Be Used In Domestic Violence Cases?

Self-defense probably comes into play most often. A few years ago, Georgia allowed an immunity defense, whereby a person who is accused of a domestic violence situation could have the judge make a ruling prior to trial that they were acting in self-defense and cannot be prosecuted for the crime. You’re entitled to a hearing in advance of trial, so you can basically test out the state’s case. This is a huge benefit.

It is also important for you to begin to collect any evidence that you may have that would help your case. A witness list, photographs, and statements from knowledgeable parties would be a good place to start.

Why Is It Critical To Retain An Experienced Attorney To Handle A Domestic Violence Case?

Domestic violence cases are unique in that they tend to present problems that are more ongoing in nature. This is primarily because they involve parties who are related to one another in some way. There are a host of different laws in different situations, some of which are very harmful to someone who has been accused of domestic violence, and some of which are helpful. There is also the question of privilege in terms of whether a spouse can be compelled to testify against the husband. If there are children involved or children in the house, then the Department of Family & Children Services (DEFACS) can come into the case and make certain decisions that drastically affect the parties’ lives by taking children out of the house and requiring drug tests and home inspections.

In addition, Georgia has what’s called a Child Abuse Registry, so if you commit an act of domestic violence and a child is present, then you may find yourself on the Child Abuse Registry. This is something that stays on the system for life, but you do have a right to have hearings regarding your place on it.

This is an area of the law that is very specific and has many long-lasting consequences for an individual who has been convicted.

Additional Information On Domestic Violence In Georgia

Domestic violence can affect people’s living situations, ability to pay the mortgage, divorce or child custody actions, and obligations under visitation agreements with previous spouses or children from prior relationships. All of these things can come into play and your life, as you know it, can be disrupted long-term by an arrest for a domestic violence charge.

For more information on Child Support & Equal Parenting Time, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (678) 726-5400 today.

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