FAMILY VIOLENCE AND THE HOLIDAYS

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FAMILY VIOLENCE AND THE HOLIDAYS

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Stress can cause people to act in unusual ways, and for many people, the holidays can be a stressful and difficult time.  This may be one of the reasons that arrest rates tend to spike over the holidays.

Family violence is one criminal offense that spikes notably around the holidays, as reported by The Atlantic.[1]  While family violence occurs year-round, financial stress and alcohol consumption may contribute to higher rates of domestic incidents during the holidays than at other times.  The Georgia code defines “family violence” as:

  • Any felony, or
  • Battery, simple battery, simple assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass

that occurs between:

  • Past spouses,
  • Present spouses,
  • Parents of the same child(ren),
  • Parents and children,
  • Stepparents and stepchildren,
  • Foster parents and foster children, or
  • Other persons living or formerly living in the same household. C.G.A. § 19-13-1.

The code specifically exempts from this statute “reasonable” discipline administered by a parent to a child in the form of corporal punishment, restraint, or detention.

Because family violence crimes may be misdemeanors or felonies (depending on the crime actually charged as well as the defendant’s criminal history), the possible outcomes vary anywhere from probation to years in prison.

Because family violence is so widespread, Georgia police tend to take cases seriously.  Sometimes, though, in their haste to make an arrest, they arrest the wrong person, or they fail to get the whole story.  Whether you have been wrongfully accused or you have made a mistake, you deserve to be fairly treated by the legal system.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office today to speak with an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney regarding family violence matters that may result in arrest for a misdemeanor or felony.

[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/12/the-holiday-spike-in-domestic-abuse/383995/