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Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Savannah, Georgia

An Experienced Former Prosecutor with 1,000+ Domestic Violence Cases Handled

If you or a loved one has been charged with a Chatham County crime of domestic violence or a crime pursuant to the Family Violence Act, you must act quickly. The consequences can be severe upon conviction. 

However, Attorney Kurtis C. Bronston is an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Savannah who is equipped with the skill to combat the charges against you. He is also a former domestic violence prosecutor, so he can likely anticipate exactly what the prosecution will bring against you. 

What Is Considered Domestic Violence?

In Georgia, the crime of domestic violence is a sentencing enhancement triggered by a specific statutory relationship identified in the Family Violence Act.

These include:

  • current/former spouses;

  • birth parents of the same children;

  • parents and children;

  • stepparents and stepchildren;

  • foster parents and foster children;

  • persons currently or formerly residing together.

Call or contact us online to speak with our Savannah domestic violence attorney during a free consultation.

What to Know About Georgia’s Family Violence Act

Note that the last category above refers to relationships that go beyond spouses, parents, and children, such as roommates, siblings, extended family members, and unmarried dating partners. However, none of the specified relationships addresses dating partners who've never lived together or don't share a child. Georgia's law also expressly excludes from family violence a parent's "reasonable discipline" of a child in the form of corporal punishment, restraint, or detention. Domestic violence is generally any of the below felony or misdemeanor crimes committed against an above relation.

Types of domestic violence:

  • assault;

  • battery;

  • criminal trespass;

  • criminal damage to property;

  • stalking;

  • violation of protective orders.

How Long Does Domestic Violence Stay on Your Record in Georgia?

In the state of Georgia, domestic violence will remain on record forever. While Georgia’s “Second Chance Law” does permit individuals to appeal to the court for particular misdemeanor convictions to be restricted and sealed, this does not pertain to family violence convictions unless the individual was under 21. That’s why it’s imperative you consult with a Savannah domestic violence lawyer following any charges. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence in Georgia?

For misdemeanor domestic violence charges, the statute of limitations in Georgia is 2 years. Whereas the statute of limitations is 4 years for felonies. However, if the crime involved a minor the statue of limitations is extended to 7 years. 

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What Is the Punishment for Domestic Violence in Georgia?

Family violence offenses can result in criminal charges depending on the circumstances of the crime, the harm involved, and a defendant's prior convictions. Note that Georgia punishes most acts involving family violence more severely than identical acts committed between people who are not in a domestic relationship. For instance, simple assault may be punished as a misdemeanor, but simple assault of a family member may be punished as an aggravated misdemeanor. 

In general, the  penalties & sentencing ranges for certain acts of domestic violence are:

  • Simple assault or battery – 12 months in jail and a $5,000 fine for a first offense, 1-5 years for a subsequent offense

  • Aggravated assault or battery – 3-20 years in prison

  • Stalking – up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense, 1-10 years in prison for each subsequent offense

  • Aggravated stalking – 1-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine

  • Violation of a protective order – up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine

Georgia law may also impose the following conditions and restrictions for family violence cases:

  • Arrests based on probable cause that an act of family violence has occurred or an offender violated a criminal family violence protective order. Officers must attempt to identify and only arrest the primary aggressor.

  • Bail or pretrial release when a police officer makes a warrantless arrest for a family violence offense. Common bond conditions involve having no contact with the alleged victim and prohibiting the offender from possessing a firearm. Stalking cases may require the alleged victim to receive notice of a defendant's release and of any bail hearing.

  • Firearm restrictions as required in pretrial release conditions. Georgia law authorizes judges to include firearm restrictions when entering temporary protective orders (TPOs), and the respondent may be prohibited from having a gun in a permanent order. Federal law also prohibits the possession of firearms for a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

Is Emotional Abuse a Crime in Georgia?

Emotional abuse is considered a form of family violence, which is a crime in the state of Georgia.

What Does Simple Battery Family Violence Mean?

Simple battery family violence is similar to a simple battery charge. The primary difference is that it occurs if there is a familial relationship between the individuals. The penalties for such a charge can also be higher, with second offenses often receiving a felony conviction and up to 5 years imprisonment. 

Why Choose the Law Office of Kurtis C. Bronston, LLC?

Attorney Kurtis C. Bronston has handled over a thousand domestic violence cases throughout his career and rose to the top in all the courtrooms for those cases. Let an experienced Savannah domestic violence lawyer defend you against your charges. Attorney Bronston is a leader in the courtroom and will inform you of your defense every step of the way. 

Don't wait to get help. Contact our domestic violence attorney in Savannah today to get started with a consultation.