30 Lumpkin Street, Ste. A | Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046
Stepp Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law
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Domestic Violence Lawyer Lawrenceville

Defending against egregious charges

Georgia has enacted the Family Violence Act which links civil matters, such as restraining orders, to the Georgia criminal code. Domestic violence charges are a serious matter. Beyond any legal consequences, a formal charge of domestic violence may affect your life in unforeseen ways. At Stepp Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law we fight domestic violence and related charges with the aim of preventing the multiple consequences of a conviction.

Family violence is not like other crimes

Defendants in family violence cases face the social stigma and categorization of an abuser. If you are convicted of domestic violence you may lose child custody or opportunities for visitation. Even keeping your right to bear arms is at risk in domestic violence cases.

The state of Georgia does not look at family violence as a “domestic matter” and has implemented procedures accordingly. Once a case of domestic violence is in the hands of the prosecutor, the victim is no longer responsible for dropping or pressing charges.

Georgia designates acts of violence between spouses, former spouses, parents of the same children (including step- and foster-parents) and persons living currently or formerly in the same household to be domestic violence. Such acts include:

  • Any felony, including:
    • Murder
    • Manslaughter
    • Aggravated assault
    • Aggravated battery
    • Kidnapping
    • False imprisonment
    • Reckless conduct
    • Cruelty to children
    • Aggravated stalking
    • Cruelty to a person 65 years or older
    • Sexual crimes (including rape, sodomy, child molestation, incest, sexual battery)
  • Misdemeanors, including but not limited to:
    • Battery, simple battery
    • Assault, simple assault
    • Stalking
    • Criminal property damage
    • Criminal trespass
    • Unlawful restraint

Domestic violence charges bring serious consequences

The state of Georgia takes sentencing of domestic violence-related charges seriously. The actual punishment depends on the charges and circumstances. If you are facing a second or subsequent offense, you can expect more severe consequences.

Fighting charges of domestic violence

As an experienced defense team, we understand that the prosecution will investigate the case prior to trial. We do our own independent investigation, one that does not rely on the evidence provided by law enforcement. We question witnesses, dispute statements by the victim and have professionals examine physical evidence. We may request independent medical examinations.

Understanding Temporary Protective Orders (TPOs)

To institute a TPO, often called a “restraining order,” the petitioner must demonstrate that the defendant:

  • Has recently stalked or been physically violent (hitting, kicking, breaking things)
  • Is in a relationship with the victim, including:
    • Current or former spouses
    • Parents of the same child
    • Parent and child (including stepparents, foster parents, etc.)
    • Step-parent and step-child
    • People who live together or formerly lived together in the same household (note: generally couples who are dating and don’t have children together do not qualify for a TPO)
  • Still lives in the same county

Violating a protective order is a misdemeanor in Georgia. If you have a TPO against you, the court may:

  • ask you to refrain from certain behavior
  • grant possession of the house or residence to one of the parties
  • award temporary child custody and child support payments or temporary spousal support payments
  • cover attorney’s fees for either or both parties
  • order a psychological evaluation or treatment
  • Place you in a state registry of protective orders

Let your attorney do the talking

If you have been charged with domestic abuse, domestic violence or have a TPO against you, do not contact the plaintiff directly, even if it regards a seemingly benign matter. Make sure you have a legal advocate who contacts the party involved on your behalf.

If you are being accused of domestic violence, you need an accomplished attorney on your side. Call us today for a free initial consultation!

Stepp Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law takes domestic violence charges very seriously. We act tenaciously on your behalf because we know the stakes are high. To speak confidentially with a Lawrenceville criminal defense and divorce lawyer, contact us today by calling 678-987-8490. You are innocent until proven guilty, and we do everything in our power to prove your innocence. Call for a free initial phone consultation today.

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