When a stressful domestic issue escalates, you may unexpectedly find yourself arrested on an assault charge. You are suddenly faced with the emotional and legal impact of your situation.
Understanding the court process and consequences can help you make an informed decision.
The Georgia Family Violence Act
Georgia takes all cases of domestic violence charges very seriously. In fact, once charges have been filed, the person who filed them can not drop them once they have been submitted to the prosecutor.
During a domestic violence hearing, the judge will likely consider the following:
- Whether this is a first offense or if there is a history of abuse
- If a weapon was involved
- Substance abuse
- The severity of this offense
Suppose the case of domestic battery is a first offense. In that situation, the defendant is typically charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to 12 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine, unless it’s ruled as an aggravated misdemeanor, which has a fine of $5,000. The judge may also direct the defendant to anger management classes and community service.
Further domestic violence incidents will be considered a felony and may result in imprisonment for at least one year.
In addition to the legal consequences, a domestic battery conviction can affect your employment, housing and time with your children.
If you are facing a domestic battery charge for the first time, it’s crucial to have a good defense strategy. You will want to discuss your case with someone who will protect your rights and work for the best possible outcome.