Domestic violence is a crime that is not taken lightly, regardless of where you live. In the State of Georgia, domestic violence crimes are taken very seriously, and harsh punishments are dolled out. If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence in Georgia, whether you are guilty or not, there are a few things that you should know. In this post, we’ll try to answer some common questions people as us after they’ve been arrested.
Q: What Is the Family Violence Act?
A: In the state of Georgia, the Family Violence Act includes the commission of assault, battery, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass against family members, partners, or past partners.
Q: What types of relationships fall under the Family Violence Act?
A: There are several relationships that would fall under the Family Violence Act in Georgia.
- Past for present spouses
- People who share children together
- Parents and children
- Stepparents and stepchildren
- Foster parents and foster children
- Partners or former partners
- Anyone who shares or has shared the same household
Q: What happens if I have been arrested for domestic violence and accuser wants to drop the charges?
A: Unfortunately, once the charges are filed, the person who pressed charges cannot drop them; it becomes the state’s case and only they can drop the charges.
Q: What should I do if I know I’m innocent of the accusations?
A. You may have been served with a pre-warrant, which is the court’s way of determining if there is enough evidence to make an arrest. You would need to attend this hearing, and it is best to hire an attorney to represent you and argue on your behalf. If the judge agrees with you and your lawyer, all charges will be dropped. If you cannot verify your innocence, a warrant for your arrest would be issued.
Q: I was just trying to protect myself but now I’m being sued for emotional distress. What are my options?
A: If the case goes to trial, you risk losing everything if you don’t have an attorney representing you. The complainant will likely have an attorney, so it is in your best interest to have one as well.
Q: I was arrested for domestic violence while trying to defend a family member. Can I still be convicted?
A: You should consult with a criminal defense immediately. An attorney can go over the facts surrounding the case, to determine your options going forward.
Q: I was wrongly accused and can prove it. Will there be any consequences for the person who called the police on me?
A: If you have substantial evidence that the assault never took place, the person who filed charges against you will be charged with a crime. It is illegal to file a false police report. You are going to need an attorney to present the evidence to the court, and clear your name first.
Q: After 20-years of marriage, we had a fight and I made a mistake. Now the state is charging me with Simple Battery Family Violence, but we are still together and happy. What can we do?
A: You will need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. If your spouse chooses not to file charges against you, your attorney can apply for spousal immunity. This means that your spouse won’t have to testify against you, increasing your chances of having the charges dropped.
Q: I was arrested for Family Battery after another party called the police. She wasn’t even there. My spouse doesn’t want to file charges. What should I do?
A: Again, the state can press charges, even if your spouse chooses not to. An experienced criminal attorney may be able to get the charges dropped during the hearing stage.
If you have been arrested for domestic assault/battery, you are going to need a criminal defense lawyer. Whether you are guilty or not, you are going to need an experienced professional on your side.