Filed Under: Atlanta Family Violence Protective Orders
A person claiming to been a victim of an Atlanta family violence crime may file a petition in the Georgia superior court seeking a protective order. A person may also file a petition seeking a protective order on behalf of a minor child. The petition must allege that the petitioner (or the minor child on whose behalf the petition is filed) was the victim of one or more instances of family violence in the past.
The court may issue a temporary protective order ex parte (that is, without notice to the person against whom the order is sought, referred to as the respondent) where the judge determines that the petitioner or minor child has been the victim of family violence and may again be subjected to family violence.
A hearing on the petition must be held within 30 days of the filing of the petition unless the parties agree to hold the hearing later than 30 days from the filing. The court may issue a protective order that requires to the respondent to refrain from harassing or interfering with the victim or committing further acts of family violence. The order may also require either party to vacate the shared residence, award personal property to a party, make child custody and support arraignments, and require the respondent to receive psychiatric or psychological services. A family violence protective order lasts for one year; upon the petitioner’s motion and notice, the court may extend the order to three years or may make the order permanent.
(O.C.G.A. §§ 19-13-3, 19-13-4)
Violations of a Family Violence Protective Order
A person who violates a term of a family violence protective order may be punished by being held in contempt of court, or the person may be charged criminally. The crime of violating a protective order is a misdemeanor that may be punished by up to 12 months in jail or a $1,000 fine, or both. A defendant convicted of either stalking or aggravated stalking and of violating a family violence protective order may be sentenced only on the stalking/aggravated stalking conviction if the conviction for violating the protective order is based on the same conduct.
(O.C.G.A. §§ 16-5-95, 19-13-6)
Consult With An Attorney
If you are accused of committing a family violence offense in Georgia, you should speak with an experienced lawyer. A skilled attorney will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case against you and advise you of available defenses. A lawyer can seek to have a case dismissed or negotiate a reduction in charges, as well as represent you before a jury if your case proceeds to trial. The Howard Law Group will guide you throughout the process and is essential to protecting your rights.