Law enforcement treats domestic violence allegations more seriously now than in recent decades. In the past, police often simply removed the abusing spouse temporarily from the home without an arrest. Today, to stem the violence through early and frequent intervention, most calls to the police for domestic abuse result in arrest, beginning a frightening legal process.
As Cobb County domestic violence and abuse attorneys who have prosecuted and defended these sensitive cases, we understand the difficulties you face in these matters. Our team knows that false allegations often stem from one party attempting to gain an advantage in a heated divorce, child custody battle, or for other reasons. However, once someone brings family violence charges, an almost unstoppable legal process begins, even if the alleged victim later wishes to drop all charges.
Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering, & Kilgo, LLP, has defended clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony assault charges, quite often in cases where the alleged victim refuses to press charges. You can rely on our significant experience in this area of criminal defense. We can thoroughly review your case and provide options that best fit your individual needs and the facts of your case. Our team will always work to get charges dismissed or reduced and/or arrange plea agreements where appropriate. We will also take your case to trial if that is the right path for advancing your best interests.
Have you been arrested for domestic violence? Call Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP. today at (770) 599-5328 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our domestic violence lawyers in Cobb County.
Domestic Violence Charges in Georgia
Domestic violence is described in § 19-13-1 of the Georgia Code. Crimes committed on the domestic level generally are punished more harshly than the same offenses committed against non-family members. These are crimes committed against spouses, former spouses, children, parents, current or former household members, stepchildren, stepparents, foster parents, foster children, and those who have a child in common, regardless of marital status.
In this context, family violence can include any misdemeanor or felony for such crimes as:
- Unlawful restraint
- Criminal damage to property
- Criminal trespass
The charges you face will depend on the unique circumstances of your arrest, any harm involved to alleged victims, and your prior convictions, if any.
Assault and Battery in Domestic Abuse Cases
Assault and battery are common charges in domestic abuse cases. Simple assault consists of attempting to injure the alleged victim or putting him/her in fear of imminent harm. Simple battery occurs when you intentionally make physical contact with the alleged victim in a provocative way or by causing that person harm.
- These “simple” charges can result in up to 12 months of jail time and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Where an alleged victim is visibly injured, you can face battery charges, also punishable by up to 12 months in jail. However, if you have a prior domestic battery conviction, the current charge generally becomes a felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
- Even more serious charges include aggravated assault or battery; these generally involve the use of a deadly weapon or the use of anything to cause strangulation. These aggravated charges are felonies that are punishable by three to 20 years of prison time.
How a Protective Order Can Impact Your
One of the penalties you commonly face in family violence cases includes Protective Orders, also known as restraining orders. The alleged victim can petition the court for these orders on a temporary or more permanent basis. Such orders can order you:
- To stop any further abuse
- Order you to stay a certain distance away from the alleged victim and children
- Order you to vacate your home
- Order you to pay temporary child support
- Limit your ability to see your children
- Bar you from possessing firearms
- Order you to pay attorney fees and court costs
- Restrict or order you to do anything else the court finds appropriate
These orders can profoundly impact your life in many ways, economically, socially, and as a parent. Furthermore, because the state retains the right to proceed with charges despite what the alleged victim says, those falsely accused are placed in a difficult situation. Our team understands these challenges and how to develop an effective defense strategy on your behalf.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Lawyers in Cobb County Today
If you are accused of domestic violence in or around Cobb County, it is critical that you take the charge seriously and call us as early as possible. Early intervention may result in formal charges never being filed or dropped. Our firm provides aggressive criminal defense representation in these crucial matters; the sooner you contact us, the earlier we can get to work in helping you reach the best possible outcome.
Contact Smith, Schnatmeier, Dettmering & Kilgo, LLP. today to get started on your defense with our Cobb County domestic violence attorneys.