Domestic Violence Georgia: Know Your Rights and Options

Domestic violence in Georgia is a serious issue. Learn everything you need to know about the law here.

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Overview of Domestic Violence Georgia

According to statistics from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, in Fiscal Year 2019, there were 66,151 crisis calls to certified domestic violence agencies in Georgia. Unfortunately, domestic violence is a prevalent problem in the state of Georgia and other areas across the country. Domestic violence is often committed against a family or household member and takes various forms, including physical abuse, sexual assault, emotional abuse, intimidation, stalking, and unlawful imprisonment.

Domestic violence can be described as an offense committed by an intimate partner, family member, or household member against another. Domestic violence allegations are serious and can cause devastating, long-lasting consequences to the reputation, quality of life, liberty, and personal and professional opportunities of the accused. A defendant convicted of domestic violence could be facing possible prison sentence time, huge fines, a restraining order, loss of parenting privileges, and other life-changing ramifications. On the other hand, being subjected to domestic violence can have devastating consequences on one’s mental, physical, and financial well-being.

At The Waltman Firm, we are dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and comprehensive representation in domestic violence cases. Attorney Holly Waltman of The Waltman Firm has devoted her career to providing reliable and compassionate legal counsel and advocacy to both victims of domestic violence and clients facing domestic violence charges. Whether you are experiencing family violence or you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, she and her team will fight vigorously to protect your rights and offer you the comprehensive legal representation you need.

Definition of Domestic Violence in Georgia

Under Georgia laws, domestic violence or family violence can be described as abuse that occurs between family members, household members, or unmarried partners. It involves committing any of the following offenses against an intimate partner or family member:

  • Battery
  • Simple battery
  • Assault
  • Simple assault
  • Stalking
  • Criminal damage to property
  • Unlawful restraint
  • Criminal trespass, or
  • Any felony offense

In this situation, the intimate partner or family member may be any of the following persons or relationships:

  • Former or current spouses
  • Parents and children
  • Stepparents and stepchildren
  • People who are parents of the same child
  • Foster parents and foster children
  • People who are living or once lived in the same household.

When law enforcement officers are notified of a possible domestic violence situation, they may arrest the individual(s) who they believe to have been the primary abuser. From there, the local court will decide whether any protection orders are necessary for the safety of the victim. Usually, this will be an emergency protective order until further legal action is taken. 

Georgia Domestic Violence Laws

Pursuant to Georgia Code section 19-13-1, also known as the Family Violence Act, “Family violence” involves the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents, and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household:

  • Any felony; or
  • Commission of offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass.

However, the term “family violence” shall not be deemed to include reasonable discipline administered by a parent to a child in the form of corporal punishment, restraint, or detention.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, additional Georgia domestic violence laws may apply. Contact an Atlanta domestic violence lawyer for more information.

Domestic Violence Statistics Georgia

Here are some statistics about domestic violence in the state of Georgia:

  • About 35.1% of Georgia women and 39.9% of Georgia men experience intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking during their lifetime.
  • In 2018, law enforcement agencies reported responding to 44,900 family violence incidents in Georgia.
  • In 2018, approximately 26,672 protective and stalking orders were issued by Georgia courts.
  • In Fiscal Year 2019, there were 66,151 crisis calls to certified domestic violence agencies in Georgia.
  • In 2019, Georgia ranked 10th in the United States for the rate of men killing women.
  • In 2019, there were about 166 domestic violence-related deaths in Georgia.
  • In 2019, about 73% of deaths involving domestic violence involved the use of firearms.
  • In Fiscal Year 2019, Georgia domestic violence shelters provided refuge to over 5,024 victims of family violence.

Domestic violence is a complex area of the law. Many victims never seek help in fear of their safety, while other domestic violence situations involve false accusations on both sides, and the legal definition of domestic violence has many grey areas. No matter your situation, retaining an attorney with the skills, resources, and experience to navigate these legal issues is essential.

What to Do If You Experience Family Violence Georgia

In Georgia, acts involving family violence are punished severely compared to similar acts against other persons. For instance, a person who commits domestic violence battery for the first time may be facing misdemeanor charges. Any subsequent conviction will be charged as a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

For those reasons and more, it is vital that you consult a reputable criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of committing domestic violence in Georgia. When you reach out to The Waltman Firm, we will work tirelessly to dispute the allegations against you with overwhelming evidence so you can begin moving forward.

 

Domestic Violence Help in Georgia

If you are being abused by your partner, it is important to get help immediately. You can call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or Georgia’s 24-Hour Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-334-2836.

Once you are in a safe location, you may want to pursue a family violence protective order against the aggressor. Before doing so, however, it’s a good idea to reach out to an attorney to better understand your legal options. 

The Waltman Firm is proud to serve individuals who need a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney in Marietta, GA or the North Atlanta area. Attorney Holly Waltman will review and investigate every detail of your case and strategize an effective strategy for your personal situation. We will fight diligently to protect your rights, help you acquire a restraining order, and/or represent you in any applicable legal proceedings. 

Call The Waltman Firm today to get the help you need. We are on your side.

What to Do If You’re Facing Domestic Violence Charges in Georgia

In Georgia, acts involving family violence are punished severely compared to similar acts against other persons. For instance, a person who commits domestic violence battery for the first time may be facing misdemeanor charges. Any subsequent conviction will be charged as a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

For those reasons and more, it is vital that you consult a reputable criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of committing domestic violence in Georgia. When you reach out to The Waltman Firm, we will work tirelessly to dispute the allegations against you with overwhelming evidence so you can begin moving forward.

Domestic Violence Georgia Punishment

The possible penalties and consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Georgia include:

  • Jail: Up to 12 months in jail (misdemeanor) or up to five (5) years in prison (felony).
  • Fines: Maximum fines of $1,000 (misdemeanor) or $5,000 (felony) and payment of restitution to the victim.
  • Participation in a “diversion program.”
  • Mandatory participation in anger management classes.
  • Loss of firearms or concealed carry rights.
  • Loss of parenting privileges or child custody rights. If you are currently the primary custodial parent of your children, you may be required to pay child support to the other parent if you are convicted. This means that you will also lose any child support payments from the other parent.
  • A domestic violence protective or restraining order.
  • Possible immigration consequences such as deportation or inadmissibility to the United States.
  • A permanent criminal record.
  • Future employment difficulties.

Hiring an experienced Georgia domestic violence lawyer to represent you is the best possible move you can take to prevent or limit these potential consequences. Whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony, we will bring the facts of the case to light to protect your freedom, future, and reputation. 

Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney Serving Marietta, Georgia

If you are experiencing domestic violence or if you are facing domestic violence charges, don’t face it alone. Contact The Waltman Firm today to schedule a free, one-on-one case evaluation.

Attorney Holly Waltman can provide you with the comprehensive legal counsel, strong advocacy, and compassionate representation you need. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout Marietta, Georgia and the North Atlanta area. Call today to consult with a knowledgeable Georgia criminal defense attorney and receive detailed guidance and reliable representation.