“Domestic Violence” is a term that casts a wide net over many different criminal and civil statutes.  This page will focus on Family Violence Battery, which is the crime that is charged when physical violence occurs between two adults who live in the same household together, or are otherwise in a relationship.  Cruelty to Children is discussed on a different page.

The CRIME:

O.C.G.A. 16-5-23(f) defines the crime of Simple Battery, and 16-5-23.1(f)defines the crime of Family Violence Battery.

SIMPLE BATTERY

Simple Battery is where a person intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature or intentionally causes physical harm to:

  • a past of present spouse;
  • a person who is the other parent of your child;
  • your child;
  • your stepchild; or,
  • another person not a sibling living in your household.

FAMILY VIOLENCE BATTERY

Family Violence Battery is where a person intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to:

  • a past of present spouse;
  • a person who is the other parent of your child;
  • your child;
  • your stepchild; or,
  • another person not a sibling living in your household.

“Visible bodily harm” means bodily harm that is capable of being perceived by a person other than the victim, and may include, but is not limited to the following list:

  • substantially blackened eyes;
  • substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts; or,
  • substantial bruises to body parts.

The PUNISHMENT:

Simple Battery

A person convicted of Simple Battery shall be punished for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature

Family Violence Battery

The first conviction for Family Violence battery is punishable as a misdemeanor, and second and subsequent convictions shall be  punishable as a felony with imprisonment between 1 to 5 years whether or not the victim is the same person.

In both Simple Battery, and Family Violence Battery, a person cannot be punished under the statutes if the contact is between a parent and a child where the parent is administering reasonable corporal punishment.
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The PROBLEM:

You need to be extremely careful with your dealings with a prosecutor when you are charged with either of these domestic violence statutes.  Along with the statutory punishment, there are many requirements for anger management counseling and alcohol treatment if alcohol was involved.  The prosecutors will frequently use the tactic of asking a victim who wants to drop charges whether or not they want to see the accused go to counseling, and use that as a sign that they do not want to have the charges dropped.  Additionally, with the change in the evidence code in 2014, the prosecutor can force your spouse to take the stand, as the witness no longer has spousal immunity when the spouse is the victim of domestic violence.

The SOLUTION:

You need to have an experienced and fearless lawyer who will defend your rights and ensure that you are not convicted of a crime that you did not commit.  Don’t go into court alone when you are charged with a crime.

You need to hire ROY YUNKER LAW.