Individuals have protection from emotional, physical and sexual abuse by their family members, including spouses, parents, siblings and other household members. Crimes of stalking also fall under Georgia’s Family Violence Law.
If you have received an accusation of domestic violence, prepare to face your court date by learning more about state guidelines.
Actions considered domestic abuse
Striking your partner is not the only action that can result in a domestic violence charge. Georgia’s laws are broad and categorize any of the following actions as possible family violence:
- Controlling behavior, especially involving intimidation, force or the use of children as a manipulation tool
- Unlawful restraint
- Financial abuse, such as taking someone’s paycheck or controlling their accounts
- Criminal property damage
- Simple battery
- Criminal trespass into a former partner’s new home
- Simple assault
- Physical abuse
- Threatening behavior in the presence of a minor child
Handling protective orders
The court can issue a Family Law Protective Order, which prohibits contact between the accused person and the accuser. The terms of this order may prevent you from approaching your spouse or partner, require you to leave the shared home or provide alternate housing, require counseling and establish a temporary custody and child support order for the accuser.
You must abide by the terms of this order even if you disagree with the accusations. Violation of a Georgia protective order results in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Penalties for domestic violence
Family violence battery is a misdemeanor that carries a $1,000 fine and 12 months in jail for the first conviction. For subsequent convictions, you could receive up to five years in prison. You can receive an aggravated felony charge for family violence simple assault. During a prison sentence for this type of crime, offenders have an earning limit of four days a month in credit for good behavior compared to 60 to 120 days a month for other inmates.