Family Violence Element Makes Penalties Harsher for Many Crimes in Georgia
While assault and battery charges come with strict penalties on their own in Georgia, these penalties are even harsher if the act was committed against a member of one’s family or household. When this is the case, the state will charge the defendant with a family violence crime.
Family violence and assault and battery charges
Nearly all criminal acts involving family violence come with more severe punishments than if those acts took place between two or more nonfamily members. One of the best examples is battery, which on its own could earn a convicted offender up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, for a conviction of family violence battery, an offender could receive a prison sentence of up to five years.
This is because battery on its own is usually only considered a felony if the person charged has two or more previous convictions for battery against the same victim. Battery against a family member, on the other hand, may be charged as a felony right away.
The same is true with simple assault, which is typically charged as a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Simple assault with a family violence element, however, is considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. To that end, it is punishable by up to $5,000 in fines, in addition to a possible one-year jail sentence.
Offenses like assault and battery are serious charges, and they become even more so when they get classified as family violence matters. To learn more about your options if you’ve been accused of a family violence crime, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash. Call us at 770.422.0878 or contact us online today.