What You Need to Know About Domestic Assault in Georgia
Domestic assault is a serious crime in Georgia. Here’s what you need to know if you are facing charges.
The Basics of Domestic Assault
If you have ever been in an abusive relationship, you know how traumatizing the thought of domestic assault can be. In Georgia, domestic violence charges, commonly referred to as family violence, are treated very seriously. Often, tempers can run high even in loving relationships, and angry words can escalate to physical expressions of that anger, resulting in a domestic violence charge.
Other times, charges of domestic assault may be fabricated or exaggerated by one party in an attempt to get even with the other. Whether you face accusations from domestic partners based on facts or fiction, you need the advice and advocacy of an experienced felony lawyer in Marietta from a reputable law firm. Contact the Waltman Firm for a free consultation.
Domestic Assault and Battery
The charges for domestic assault and battery are the most common type of domestic violence. Separately, simple assault is acting in a manner that makes someone fear injury, and simple battery is making physical contact to cause harm to or provoke another.
According to the Georgia code, family violence of domestic assault is a felony committed between two individuals with the following relationships:
- Anyone presently residing or formerly residing in the household
- Foster parents and foster children
- Individuals in a dating relationship or one of a romantic or intimate nature
- Individuals who are parents of the same child
- Parents and children
- Spouses or past spouses
- Stepparents and stepchildren
If you are charged with causing emotional or physical harm to a family or household member, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable law office.
Battery With Serious Physical Injury
Battery is the act of actualizing violent intentions that cause serious physical injury to the alleged victim by punching, hitting with an object, or pushing. Battery becomes an aggravated charge when it causes imminent bodily injury to the victim.
Aggravated battery occurs when an individual maliciously causes bodily harm to another resulting in disfigurements, such as broken bones, paralysis, amputation, and traumatic brain injury.
In Georgia, you can face a more serious domestic violence charge if you commit aggravated domestic assault and battery. An individual commits aggravated assault by assaulting:
- With the intention of murder, rape, or robbery
- With a deadly weapon that could cause serious physical injury
- With an object that could lead to strangulation
Since aggravated assault and battery are serious offenses with elevated penalties, you must reach out to a skilled attorney for representation.
What Are Domestic Assault Charges?
Individuals receive first-degree domestic assault charges if they knowingly cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury to or try to murder a domestic victim. First-degree domestic assault is a Class B felony unless the person inflicts serious bodily injury to the victims, in which case it becomes a Class A felony.
A person commits a second-degree domestic assault offense if the act entails a domestic victim. The offender acts in a manner that causes bodily injury to the domestic victim by any means. The actions include using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or choking. A second-degree offense is a Class D felony.
A person commits third-degree domestic assault if they attempt to cause serious bodily injury or knowingly cause physical pain or sickness to a domestic victim. The offense in the third degree is a Class E felony.
A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree if the act involves a domestic victim in the following manners:
- The person aims at causing or acts recklessly, causing bodily injury, physical pain, or illness to the domestic victim.
- With negligence, the person causes imminent bodily injury to the victim using a dangerous weapon or dangerous object.
- The person places the victim in physical pain or engages in actions that endanger the victim’s life.
- The person knowingly causes physical contact with the victim since they know it will be offensive.
- The person knowingly attempts to cause or causes the isolation of the domestic victims by restricting their access to other persons, phones, computers, and cars.
The offense of domestic assault in the fourth degree is a class misdemeanor. If the person was previously charged with this offense, it is deemed a Class E felony.
First-Time Domestic Assault Charge
A first-time assault is a simple misdemeanor offense charged with a maximum jail time of up to one year with a fine of $1000.A first-time offender for aggravated assault gets a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of 50 years in state prison.
The Georgia code lists the following as domestic assault:
- Aggravated assault
- Criminal property damage
- Criminal trespass
- Emotional abuse
- Reproductive coercion
- Simple assault
- Unlawful restraint
Subsequent offenses are dealt with more harshly than a first-time domestic assault charge.
How to Report Domestic Assault
If you need to report a domestic assault, there is a 24-hour statewide Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-33-HAVEN ; 1-800-334-2836) in Georgia. If you call this hotline, your call will be connected to your nearest certified shelter.
You can make calls from anywhere in the state and outside the state. The program has language interpreter services. You can also reach the GCAVD through email. However, it is safer to call, as emails can be tracked.
If you are being accused of domestic assault, get a trusted domestic violence lawyer in Marietta, GA, who will advise you on the necessary measures to take.
What Is a Domestic Assault Sentence?
Georgia punishes a Domestic assault sentence severely. Fines and jail times for family violence charges are higher than crimes committed among strangers.
A simple assault would typically be handled as a misdemeanor, but it is handled as an aggravated misdemeanor in domestic violence cases. Aggravated domestic assault and battery results in 20 years imprisonment.
The court will sentence an individual with a maximum of one year of jail time and a fine of about $5000. A domestic violence battery charge is given a $1000 fine with a maximum of one year jail time. A successive domestic abuse charge is treated as a felony with a possible five-year sentence in prison.
Aside from serving in jail, Georgia has other penalties in cases of family violence crime. The criminal gets a permanent criminal record, which is detrimental, along with mandatory anger management classes, loss of child custody, and possibly a restraining order.
Domestic Assault Conviction
According to federal law, a domestic assault conviction of a misdemeanor or felony will result in the loss of the right to possess a firearm. Other penalties include probation, anger management classes, community services, and fines. The severity of the sentence also depends on how frequently the person has been convicted.
Hire a Domestic Assault Law Firm
When a charge is issued, the alleged victim and abuser need a competent domestic assault law firm. In Georgia, there are so many legal options to pick from. To get an experienced criminal attorney in Marietta, GA, visit the Waltman Firm.
Relevant Domestic Assault Laws
Domestic assault laws protect a family member or domestic partner against physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Georgia’s Family Violence Act is a law meant to protect individuals in marriage and individuals in a continuing social relationship and former spouses after divorce.
The act can be used for the alleged victim to get temporary custody, financial support, and other assistance.
Family violence is a serious crime; therefore, the court can issue a Family Law Protection Order. There are two types of family law protection orders in Georgia: the temporary ex parte orders and family violence protection orders.
A protection order forbids the offender from contacting the defendant for a certain period. If you are in violation of this law, you can be jailed or charged with aggravated stalking. If you are charged with a crime, it is your constitutional right to defend yourself. Consult an experienced criminal attorney in Marietta, GA, for a free consultation and a review of your case.