DeKalb County Domestic Violence Lawyer
Police in DeKalb County can be quick to issue charges in a domestic dispute—sometimes when they may not be warranted. Domestic violence situations often come down to an issue of one person’s word against another’s, so it is usually a good idea to collect and preserve evidence that favors your point of view.
An experienced attorney who understands domestic violence cases could provide advice regarding your next steps. Once retained, a DeKalb County domestic violence lawyer could begin reviewing the details of your case and working towards finding you a positive result.
What is a Domestic Violence Offense?
Domestic violence does not refer to one specific crime, but rather to certain crimes when they are committed between people in a domestic relationship. State law uses the term “family violence” to describe these offenses.
Under Official Code of Georgia §19-13-1, someone commits an act of family violence when they perpetrate specified crimes against a spouse, former spouse, child, parent, someone currently or formerly living in the same household, or someone with whom they have had a child. These relationships may include stepparent and foster parent relationships.
Offenses that can be treated as family violence include:
- Simple battery
- Simple assault
- Criminal damage to property
- Unlawful restraint
- Criminal trespass
- Any felony
In some cases, a DeKalb County domestic violence attorney may be able to argue that conduct should not be treated as domestic violence. For instance, the statute specifies that “reasonable discipline” dispensed by a parent does not qualify as family violence, even if it involves restraint or corporal punishment.
Protective Orders in Family Violence Cases
Courts frequently issue protective or restraining orders in domestic violence cases. However, the terms of these orders can be very restrictive, and it is not always easy to understand what is permitted. Failure to comply with any terms of a protective order may also be treated as a criminal offense.
Protective orders may grant possession of the family home to one party and exclude or evict the other party. Orders may also award temporary custody of children, set up visitation rights, and require payment of child support.
In addition, protective orders often specify that one party may not harass or interfere with the other. Something as simple as a social media post or accidental phone call could constitute a violation.
Moreover, orders may require one party to receive psychiatric or psychological counseling. Depending on the circumstances, the violation of a protective order in a domestic violence situation could be treated as contempt of court, as a criminal misdemeanor, or even as a felony offense.
With this in mind, it may be crucial to understand exactly how to comply with the terms of a protective order. Anyone subject to a protective order should consult a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer in DeKalb County for help understanding their particular order’s terms and how to avoid violations.
Reach Out to a DeKalb County Domestic Violence Attorney
If you are involved in a domestic violence case, you may feel like the cards are stacked against you. Laws and the actions of law enforcement officials are geared to protect alleged victims, which sometimes entails infringing the rights of others during this process.
A DeKalb County domestic violence lawyer could fight to protect your rights and interests throughout such proceedings, so that you can work toward a positive outcome. The lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Fortas have experience not only in defending charges of domestic violence, but also in assisting those who have been the victim of domestic violence. If you are charged, or if you are concerned about your safety and are at risk of being a victim of domestic violence, you owe it to yourself to consult with one of our attorneys. To schedule a consultation and learn how assistance from an attorney could benefit you in your situation, call now.