Hiring a Domestic Violence Attorney in Georgia: Everything You Need to Know
Speak with a trusted Domestic Violence Attorney in Georgia.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgia to help protect your rights. When you turn to Philip Kim Law, we will vigorously defend you on domestic violence charges.
Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.
Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.
Published on July 01, 2021.
Do You Need a Domestic Violence Attorney?
Violent crimes are a very serious matter in Georgia that could result in severe and long-term consequences if you get convicted. In instances where there are egregious facts such as disfigurement and serious personal injury to the victim, jail time is not uncommon.
Due to the legislation changes under 2015 OCGA 19-13-1, Georgia has had a drastic reform of its domestic violence laws. The reforms also created a centralized national and state database of domestic violence orders for future reference maintained by the NCIC and the GCIC. With this in mind, it’s clear that a domestic violence charge is nothing to take lightly, and you need the top criminal defense lawyers on your side.
Why We Are the Best Domestic Violence Lawyers
At Philip Kim Law, we have handled a wide range of tough domestic violence cases that include sexual violence, bodily injury in assault, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, abusive behavior in front of children, and physical abuse of a child.
If you happen to find yourself dealing with a domestic violence case, you should contact the experienced domestic violence lawyers at Philip Kim Law to help you with your case. We have the expertise and professionalism to ensure you have the best outcome regardless of how bad the situation is.
Help With a Domestic Abuse Case
A Domestic Violence Lawyer in Georgia Can Help You Understand Your Charges
When people hear of domestic violence, they usually picture a relationship with constant physical and mental abuse. However, felony domestic violence does not have to be constant as even a small argument may escalate and you may find yourself facing arrest for domestic violence.
While most offenses are classified as misdemeanors, the courts impose harsh sentences as even seemingly harmless domestic abuse incidents are taken very seriously. In addition, the State of Georgia punishes most acts involving family violence more severely than other violent acts that occur between people who are not in a domestic relationship. Physical abuse typically attracts higher penalties because the presence of a visible corporal injury bolsters the case.
For example, suppose the victim and the alleged abuser don’t share a domestic relationship. In that case, the battery offense doesn’t increase to a felony until the defendant’s third conviction against the same victim. On the other hand, a second conviction for a domestic battery offense results in a felony conviction.
Georgia’s Family Violence Act: What Are Domestic Violence Charges?
Most people think that domestic violence only applies to people dating, in romantic relationships, or husband and wife relationships when nothing could be further from the truth.
The thing is before a person is arrested and charged with domestic violence, there are two conditions that have to be fulfilled:
- The victim and the accused have to be in a special type of relationship
- The offenses must be in the purview of the Family Violence Act
Under the OCGA, domestic violence is defined as any conduct involving abuse within a family or household. Violence in this context covers anything to do with criminal trespass, battery, unlawful restraint, simple battery, criminal damage to property, simple assault, physical assault, sexual assault, and assault stalking.
As far as domestic violence laws are concerned, in addition to spousal abuse, these crimes also refer to child abuse or child neglect, intimate partner abuse, and elder abuse. Domestic abuse includes physical violence, as well as emotional abuse. It often happens when the abuser engages in constant negative criticism, name-calling, and other verbal abuse tactics to invalidate the victim’s abilities, confidence, and self-worth. The abused person can also be intimidated by the abuser and fear for their safety because of constant threats and stalking. Economic and sexual abuse are also among the common types of abuse.
According to Georgia law, family members may include intimate partners. However, family violence can be physical as well as emotional and is not only about current children or spouses or a current intimate or dating relationship.
According to the Georgia Domestic Relations code, family members include:
- Parents of the same child or children
- Persons previously or currently living in the same residence
- Former or current spouses
- Stepparents and stepchildren
- Foster parents and foster children
- Parents and children
Penalties for family violence crimes tend to be more enduring and severe than people realize. If the alleged abuser and victim have a domestic relationship, the offender may face up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for misdemeanor convictions. Aggravated misdemeanor convictions carry fines of up to $5,000.
Subsequent convictions are deemed felonies, and you will likely be brought up on criminal charges. These can attract sentences of up to five years in prison. However, if you are convicted of a more severe family violence felony crime, you could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay substantial fines including victim restitution.
A conviction for family violence may significantly impact your future, which is why you need a highly qualified attorney to help you with your case.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, then the best course of action is to contact Philip Kim Law. Standing among the best domestic violence attorneys in Georgia, we provide free first-time consultations for all our clients so that you can get a better idea of what you are facing and what you need to do.
Expert Counsel for Family Violence Laws
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney and Protection Orders
An accusation of domestic violence may result in criminal charges or a restraining order otherwise referred to as a protection order against you. At Philip Kim Law, we have the expertise and experience to help you fight restrictive protection orders.
Protecting Your Parental Rights and Freedom
Given that domestic violence is taken very seriously by the court, law enforcement officials do their best to ensure potential domestic violence victims are protected through restraining orders that are easily available.
Usually, most cases of domestic abuse begin when individuals believe they are in danger and need short-term safety from a potentially violent situation. Filing for a Temporary Protective Order is typically the first step to getting immediate protection. If the judge thinks that the defendant did commit domestic violence against the petitioner, the order will be granted, even without the presence of the accused.
However, a court hearing will be scheduled at a later date, when both parties can appear in front of the judge, tell their side of the story, and present evidence. The petitioner may ask for a longer duration of the order, such as for the whole year or permanent protective order. If a person violates a domestic violence protection order, that can result in fines and jail time.
Unfortunately, this system can be abused and you could find yourself having to fight an unwarranted protective order. Some vindictive persons can bring bogus charges to secure child custody rights, obtain an advantage in divorce proceedings, or for visitation rights among other things.
If you are slapped with a restraining order, you should know that it is your right to defend yourself in court before a judge. This is critical as restraining orders may have a significant impact on your life. They could restrict whether you get to see your children, where you can go, where you can live, and tarnish your record sometimes for life.
Even though many people believe that it is impossible to fight a protection order, this is not true. With the right criminal lawyer and law firm working on your case, you can often argue against a restraining order and have it lifted.
Who Can Obtain Orders of Protection In Georgia?
The following members of your family can obtain a protection order on the grounds of domestic abuse:
- Current or former spouse
- Current or former partners
It is important to note that while the hearing is still ongoing, the courts can:
- Instruct that you do not have violent contact with the victim or anyone else
- Determine how the personal property of the family members will be divided
- Direct that you should have no contact with the victim
- Make either party pay spousal support
- Direct that you have to stay a certain physical distance away from the victim
- Make either party pay child support
- Require that you get into an intervention program or counseling on domestic violence
- Provide temporary custody to one party and set up visitation rights of the other
- Require that one party provide a habitable home for children, a parent, a spouse, or a former spouse
- Tell one party to leave the current residence and allow one to continue living there
Since you can be subjected to these very severe terms even before you are convicted, it is important to consult with defense attorneys from a reputable law firm such as Philip Kim Law. You need to call us today as we provide a free consultation for every client charged with domestic violence and related offenses that needs legal help.
Domestic Violence Defenses – Get Assistance Now
Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Not all domestic abuse accusations are domestic violence and some arise from very different circumstances. In many instances, it can be difficult if not impossible to provide any proof of abuse.
Nonetheless, the family court usually takes the preponderance of evidence as the burden of proof. As such, most parties seeking a restraining order will only need to show that there is a high probability that the alleged abuse occurred.
Given the nuance of the law, it is important to hire a law firm with the necessary experience and expertise in domestic violence. With experienced domestic violence attorneys providing formal legal advice, you can be sure that they will identify any mitigating factors and applicable defenses in your particular circumstances.
Some of the defenses against domestic violence that a lawyer could use in court include:
Defense of Others – You may fight the allegations by providing evidence showing that it was necessary to use defensive force on a household or family member to prevent that household or family member from inflicting injury or bodily harm to another person.
False Allegations – Because of reasons such as gaining child custody, to spite their spouse, or to gain a favorable position in divorce proceedings, some family members may make false allegations of domestic abuse. In such an instance, it is critical to find evidence that shows the domestic violence allegations are false.
Lack of Intent – Your domestic violence charges could be downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor if you can prove that you did not intend to cause fear or harm to a family or household member.
Self Defense – Some alleged victims of domestic violence will make accusations yet they initiated the violence or caused the situation to get out of control. If the alleged victim attacked or provoked you, the courts may rule that self-defense was necessary for the circumstances.
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence or any other related felonies, then you need to contact us today for a free consultation on the way forward. The Philip Kim law firm has experienced attorneys in domestic violence cases and we will fight hard to ensure you get the best outcome in court.
Skilled Legal Representation
Criminal Defense Lawyer For Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence offenses are defined as forms of abuse that occurs between family or household members, and they are not something that should be taken lightly. Attempting to cause bodily injury or physical harm, inflicting intentional harm, or even recklessly placing a household member in fear of imminent bodily injury are all forms of the alleged act. Domestic violence can also include violent crimes and can result in mandatory prison sentences if offenders are convicted.
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction extend far beyond criminal prosecution. In other words, it can be in an accused individual’s best interest to retain professional legal counsel. These criminal law cases can move forward fast, so you need someone on your side who can quickly craft the best domestic violence defense possible.
The domestic violence attorneys at Philip Kim Law have the experience and expertise to represent clients faced with both felony and misdemeanor charges. At Philip Kim Law, we believe that a strong criminal defense is a right that everyone deserves to have. This is why we represent all of our clients with utmost care. The following are just some of the reasons to work with us:
We Are Experienced Negotiators and Trial Lawyers
Our law firm has a wide range of experience and we will examine all angles of your domestic violence case before we prepare the best criminal defense possible. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators that know how to navigate the court and legal system to get you the best outcomes.
Since our lawyer is well-versed in the practice area, they are known to the prosecutors and hence we can negotiate better terms and, if possible, avoid a trial and possible domestic violence conviction.
We Customize the Defense to Suit Your Circumstances
Just because you are being charged does not mean you are guilty. Our domestic violence attorneys are legal pros that will diligently dig into all the details of your case before coming up with a good defense strategy. Unlike other lawyers that depend on the police version of events, we will go further in gathering our own evidence.
Once we have the facts, we will ensure that you get a fair hearing. If the law and the facts are not on our side, we will argue for rehabilitation by appealing for compassion from the jury, judges, and prosecutors. If the substantive and procedural issues favor our side, we will appeal to the prosecutor and judge to provide a more favorable disposition.
Our Team Holds Your Hand Throughout the Process
Our approachable team of lawyers will not only take control of the case but will also walk you through the pitfalls expected while navigating the criminal justice system. The lead attorney on the case will keep you up-to-date on all substantive and procedural issues regarding your case from start to finish.
If you are looking for a domestic violence attorney to help you with your criminal defense, Philip Kim Law is your best bet. Our domestic violence attorneys will provide you with a free consultation and offer advice on the legal process with the goal of getting you a favorable outcome regardless of your circumstances. Call us today at (678) 201-0496 and we will be happy to help with your case.