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    Carrollton Domestic Violence Lawyer

    Allegations of domestic violence, which are referred to as family violence in the state of Georgia, can be frustrating and humiliating. When a family member makes an unfair allegation about you, this can lead to a conviction of family violence and a host of long-term negative consequences.

    If you currently face a family violence charge, a Carrollton domestic violence lawyer could help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the law before you take any action. A skilled defense lawyer could help you build a strong defense and protect your future.

    What Constitutes Family Violence in Carrolton

    According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 19-13-1, family violence occurs when individuals commit any felony or the offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass. This section defines household members as all of the following individuals:

    • Past or former spouses
    • Individuals who share a child
    • Parents, stepparents, and foster parents
    • Children, stepchildren, and foster children
    • Individuals presently or formerly living in the same household

    For instance, under O.C.G.A.§ 16-5-23.1, family violence battery occurs whenever the offense of battery, which is intentionally causing substantial physical or visible bodily harm to another, is caused to household members.

    Stalking is a separate criminal offense and applies to individuals who are household members or non-household members. Stalking occurs when individuals follow, place under surveillance, or have any communications with others without their consent and for the purposes of harassing and intimidating them.

    Harassing and intimidating behavior includes any intentional conduct that is directed toward others and causes them emotional distress to the extent that they fear for their safety or the safety of an immediate family member.

    Police Procedures for Domestic Violence

    Law enforcement officers in Carrollton are trained in handling domestic violence cases in a manner that recognizes that some individuals may be reluctant to have a household member arrested or charged for domestic violence.

    Police cannot decline to arrest an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence simply because the alleged harmed individual no longer wishes to press charges. Instead, officers will generally investigate the situation, identify the primary aggressor in the situation, and assess whether making an arrest is appropriate based on the circumstances.

    As these situations are often confusing and it may be difficult to determine the sequence of events, consulting a Carrollton domestic violence lawyer for advice may be crucial to resolving allegations of family violence. An experienced Carrollton domestic violence attorney could conduct their own investigation and use it to mount a defense.

    Possible Penalties for Domestic Violence

    A first family violence battery offense or a stalking offense is a misdemeanor, which can result in up to 12 months of incarceration and enrollment in domestic violence prevention classes during any order of probation. However, if individuals have a previous conviction for a forcible felony committed between household members in any state, the offense becomes a felony.

    A felony for family violence battery can result in incarceration ranging from one to five years. Both family violence battery and stalking become felonies when individuals commit a second family violence battery or pattern of stalking behaviors, whether it is against the same or another person.

    Furthermore, a conviction of domestic violence may result in the court issuing a protective order or restraining order to protect the individual of the offense and their immediate family members.

    Talk to a Carrollton Domestic Violence Attorney

    All too often, relationships between family or household members can become strained to the point that arguments and disagreements can quickly escalate. In some cases, this can cause police to be called, individuals to be arrested, and criminal charges to be filed.

    If you were charged with domestic violence, you should strongly consider contacting a Carrollton domestic violence lawyer for advice before admitting guilt or attempting to handle this difficult situation on your own. Let an attorney strengthen your case and give you legal guidance throughout the defense process.