Domestic violence is a very serious charge in all states, including in Georgia. But what exactly are the consequences for a domestic violence charge, and what other information do you need to know?
Domestic violence basics
Domestic violence is defined as a crime against a person in your family. These crimes could include any of the following:
- Simple battery
- Simple assault
- Criminal damage to property
- Unlawful restraint
- Criminal trespass
- Any other felony
This act doesn’t have to be committed against someone in your immediate family, either, but closer familial relationships can get you a charge for domestic violence. People who could be considered “family” for a domestic violence charge include:
- Parents and children
- Stepparents and stepchildren
- Foster parents and foster children
- Current or former spouses
- Parents of the same child
- People living together
Note: Georgia law states that parents’ punishment for their children should be “reasonable discipline” and not overstep the boundaries into family violence.
Acts involving family violence are punished more severely in Georgia than the same types of acts committed between strangers, co-workers, friends, etc.
For example, a domestic violence battery is punishable as a misdemeanor, but any subsequent convictions are considered felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Non-domestic batteries are only considered felonies only where the person has two or more prior convictions for batteries committed against the same victim.
As a parent, you could lose your parental rights if convicted of a domestic violence charge, as well.
What else do I need to know?
The really good part is the law does currently still understand that sometimes things can get heated, especially in families, and there are some allowances –we call them “diversion programs” here in Georgia – that allow a first-time offender for domestic violence to essentially get their record restricted and the case dismissed, as long as they follow the diversion program.
So, diversion is definitely an option if you’re charged with domestic violence. Diversion is definitely something you should discuss with your defense attorney when you are charged with a domestic violence offense.
Contact Frye Law Group if you have been accused of domestic violence. We work hard with every client to work towards a just solution.