Marietta Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic Violence and Its Victims

When most people think of domestic violence, they think of screaming, hitting and beating. Verbal and physical abuse are indeed forms of domestic violence, but there are other ways of committing domestic violence. A person can be assaulted, threatened, kidnapped, or even neglected. The victim of such violence and abuse could be a partner or spouse, a child, or another family member living in the home. Also, domestic violence does not necessarily have to occur in the home. As long as one member of the household is committing a violent act against another member of the same household, it can be considered domestic violence.

Domestic violence is not uncommon in the U.S., and Georgia has had to enact tougher laws due to the prevalence of domestic violence in its state. According to statistics released by Safe Horizon, the largest U.S. victims' services agency:

  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults
  • One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime
  • Every year more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes
  • More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home
  • Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies
  • In 2008, Georgia's law enforcement officers responded to 58,420 incidents of domestic violence
  • The Georgia Commission on Family Violence reported 834 documented deaths due to domestic violence between 2003 and 2009

Georgia Domestic Violence Laws

Georgia addresses domestic violence in Chapter 13 of its Domestic Relations Code. Included within Georgia's definition of domestic violence is battery, assault, stalking, property damage, trespassing and unlawful restraint. If a family member knowingly or violently violates a protective order, he/she is particularly in trouble. In Georgia, violating a protective order is a criminal misdemeanor. This charge can result in one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fees. A protective order can do the following:

  • Order the perpetrator to cease from violent acts and stop harassing or interfering with the victim
  • Force the perpetrator to leave his/her house, if the victim resides there/awards possession of property to the victim
  • Force the perpetrator to find suitable housing for his/her spouse/children
  • Awards temporary custody of children to the victim and establishes temporary visitation rights for the perpetrator
  • Orders the perpetrator to make alimony or child support payments
  • Award costs and attorney's fees

If you want to learn more about police protocol when responding to a domestic violence incident, click here. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you can expect the following penalties:

  • Simple battery against family member: up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • Simple assault: up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • Aggravated battery: 25-50 years in prison
  • Aggravated assault: 3-20 years in prison

False Accusations of Domestic Violence

When someone is a victim of domestic violence, they have every right to seek protection. However, a person can also falsely accuse someone of committing domestic violence out of anger, spite or misunderstanding. In fact, domestic violence cases are often steeped in emotional turbulence and deep personal histories between accusers and alleged defendants. Having successfully represented many falsely accused clients, our legal team understands the importance of present a strong and convincing case that can ensure innocent people do not suffer consequences for actions they did not commit. This is why we work tirelessly to conduct any necessary investigations into the background of these relationships and to work with witnesses during cases.

Simply being accused of such a serious and harshly viewed crime can be devastating, but being punished for a crime you did not commit is something you cannot risk. By working with our firm's legal team, you can provide yourself with the support you need to ensure that the legal system does its job. Anyone who has been falsely accused in this way should speak with a Marietta criminal defense lawyer right away to start building a strong case for their defense. The Merchant Law Firm has more than 18 years of experience in criminal defense and could fight to have your charges dismissed. Call now to learn more!

Hire a Marietta criminal attorney to combat your charges!

The Merchant Law Firm has been recognized for its excellence and professionalism in criminal defense law. Georgia Trend featured our firm in their 2010 issue of Georgia's Legal Elite, and Avvo® has awarded each of our attorneys with a "Superb" rating, which requires a perfect 10/10 score. Our clients have praised our services as well, pleased with our understanding, caring and professional services. You could speak with a member of our firm today through a free consultation, so don't hesitate to call as soon as possible.

Contact a Marietta domestic violence attorney from the Merchant Law Firm today. We have defended individuals in Georgia for more than 18 years.