Every matter that alleges violence committed against another is a serious matter under state law. However, in these situations, the possible punishment likely involves only the penalties available under the criminal statute prohibiting the behavior. Unfortunately, this is not always the situation if the incident alleges violence or threats against family members or others covered under the Georgia family violence act.

These types of incidents can result in harsh criminal penalties. However, courts also have the power to impose restraining orders against defendants facing these charges that can remain in effect for the length of the case and even permanently. Talking with a Brunswick domestic violence lawyer today will help you to avoid these penalties and to enjoy minimal disruption in your life. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the laws in these cases and protect your rights.

What does it Mean to Commit Domestic Violence?

Unlike in many other states, there is no separate criminal charge under state law called domestic violence. Instead, these charges involve a supposed act of hurting someone or threats against specific people.

State law uses the term “family violence” to describe these incidents. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-13-1, an incident of family abuse include incidents occurring between:

  • Parents and children
  • Stepparents and stepchildren
  • Foster parents and foster children
  • Spouses or former spouses
  • People with children in common
  • Individuals living in the same house or who have ever lived in the same household

A case receiving classification as one of family violence can bring immediate consequences. Under the O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3, any supposed victim can petition the court to enact a family violence protective order. This requires the defendant to avoid any contact with the alleged victim for the length of the case. This could also require a defendant to move out of a home or surrender any firearms. A domestic abuse attorney in Brunswick will provide more information about family abuse laws and how they could have an impact on someone’s immediate future.

Examples of Criminal Activity that Could Result in Family Violence Cases

Almost any incident that involves the causing or threatening to hurt another may result in a case receiving a mark of “family violence.” Because it is the alleged victim’s relationship with the defendant that brings this classification, a wide variety of offenses can fall under this category.

Prominent examples include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Stalking
  • Criminal Damage to Property
  • Unlawful Restraint
  • Criminal Trespass

Each of these examples can bring harsh penalties upon conviction. However, an alleged victim’s status as a family member can bring enhanced sentences. For example, an aggravated assault that involves family abuse increases the minimums sentence from one year to three years.  Similar concepts apply to other allegations. Reaching out to a Brunswick domestic violence attorney can be the first step towards defeating these charges in court.

Reach Out to a Brunswick Domestic Violence Attorney Now

Allegations involving domestic harm are serious matters. Even if the offense falls under the category of a misdemeanor, a mere arrest can result in the creation of a protective order that throws your life into chaos. Convictions could see these orders become permanent as well as authorize a court to impose fines or sentence you to prison.

A Brunswick domestic violence lawyer wants to take the lead in defending your rights and freedoms after a domestic abuse arrest. This includes both disputing the need for any restraining orders and building a potent defense against the core criminal charges. Call our office to schedule a meeting to discuss your case.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC