Recently, a Georgia man was arrested after an altercation that occurred when he and his wife returned home from a party. According to police, after his wife told him that he would have to sleep on the couch, the man threw a pair of boots at the couple's bedroom wall. When the man tried to leave the house, his wife took his car keys, saying he was too drunk to drive. The man is alleged to have then choked his wife, resulting in his arrest and the subsequent filing of domestic violence charges.
In Georgia, violence by one member of a household against another is considered family violence. This may include offenses against past or present spouses, children or stepchildren. Family violence includes any felony or commission of any offense including battery, trespassing, property damage or unlawful restraint by one family member against another.
Allegations of domestic violence often lead to serious consequences for those involved. These charges can affect every member of a family. After an arrest, one member of the family may be ordered to leave the home, or other kinds of temporary orders may be issued.
People facing allegations of domestic violence may be tried on a misdemeanor if it is a first offense or a felony if it is second offense, depending on the circumstances. Both misdemeanor and felony charges can result in incarceration as well as large fines if an alleged offender is convicted. In domestic violence cases, a criminal defendant may also be required to register as a family violence offender in a searchable public database of persons convicted of family violence crimes.
Domestic violence charges can impact a person's future employment opportunities and have a significant impact on their personal life. They are not to be taken lightly. However, as with all criminal cases, whether it involves matters of domestic violence claims or not, an alleged offender enjoys a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Source: FortStewart.patch, "Hinesville Man Arrested in Connection with Domestic Dispute," Ryan Smith, Aug. 16, 2012