Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects communities and families throughout the country. Many of the allegations of domestic violence are legitimate, but a notable amount is either filed by third parties who misinterpret the situation, or a partner/spouse who is looking to gain leverage or exact punishment.
Domestic violence charges impose societal consequences that can exceed criminal punishment in some situations, so fighting these charges from the beginning is crucial to limiting how much influence they have on a person’s life. The criminal justice process is not kind to those accused of domestic violence, and the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to controlling the situation and securing the best possible outcome. These cases are complicated by the fact that many different acts qualify as domestic violence, meaning the kind of information that matters most in a case will differ by circumstance.
This does not mean they are impossible to defend, but the information that is most relevant and needed by a criminal defense attorney will vary. To help those accused of domestic violence better understand how domestic violence cases are structured, and why a criminal defense attorney will be interested in learning certain information from the accused, a discussion of the acts that qualify as domestic violence, and an overview of the information an attorney will request in these cases, will follow below.
What Acts Are Included in Domestic Violence?
People generally assume, and for good reason, that domestic violence is limited to physical altercations with an intimate partner or another household member. While physical acts of aggression certainly fall within the category of domestic violence, the law defines this crime more widely to encompass other forms of abuse, which law enforcement will be looking to identify when called for a domestic-related issue. Under Georgia law, the commission of any felony against a former or current intimate partner or another individual living in the same household counts as domestic violence.
Further, battery, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, and criminal trespass also qualify as domestic violence. This broad definition means acts suggesting an intent to harass or intimate a partner or household member could also be included in domestic violence. As a result, actions and words could be misread, leading to a phone call to police and an arrest for suspected domestic violence.
What Information about the Relationship/Incident Matters Most?
Each criminal case is different, and in situations of domestic violence, family dynamics play a much bigger role in the strength of the state’s claim and the defendant’s ability to contest criminal charges. Thus, when a criminal defense attorney is contacted about a domestic violence charge, he/she will need to ascertain as quickly as possible which strategy is likely to be effective in a particular situation. Several issues make a significant difference in the trajectory of a domestic violence case, and to determine what factors should be considered, an attorney will ask questions related to the following:
- Past criminal history;
- The specific facts and circumstances that led to the arrest;
- The involvement of alcohol or drugs;
- Any injuries;
- Damage to the home or the contents inside;
- If pictures were taken; and
- Whether there were witnesses and what they said to police.
Talk to a Carrollton Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic violence is a very serious matter that needs the immediate attention of a criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are fully protected. Moffitt Law, LLC vigorously defend all their clients charged with crimes and know how to build a case to successfully overcome the state’s case. If you have questions about your situation, contact the Carrollton criminal defense law firm at (762) 212-3846 for a free consultation.
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.