Domestic Violence Protective Orders and the Penalties

Georgia law protects people against domestic violence, also known as family violence. Because of the makeup of a family unit, you do not have to be married to be a victim of, or to commit, domestic / family violence. Violence may take the form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Victims are typically current spouses, ex-spouses, parents, stepparents, stepchildren, foster parents and children, or other people who live or have lived in the same house.

Protective Orders

A family law protective order is supposed to stop a person abusing another through complete prohibition of contact. A protective order is usually in place for a specific period of time. Contact includes calling, mailing, emailing, social media contact, or being physically present at a home, school or workplace.

The protective order may also affect issues like the house in which the parties live, and could dictate that the alleged abuser has to leave. The Order could also mandate temporary custody of minor children be given to the victim and give only temporary visitation to the alleged abuser. Further, the Order could direct that the alleged abuser pay child support and/or spousal support, complete anger / violence or substance abuse counseling and pay the victim’s attorney’s fees and costs.

Consequences of Breaking a Protective Order

If an abuser disobeys a protective order, he or she could be arrested. Depending on the nature of the actions of the abuser, he or she could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. The abuser could also be charged under the state’s stalking laws. While a restraining order is in effect, the abuser cannot commit a felony, simple battery,
battery, assault, simple assault, stalking, unlawful restraint, criminal damage to property or criminal trespass. Jail and/or fines may be imposed on the abuser for violating the terms and conditions of the protective order.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact our attorneys at Treadaway & Treadaway for a consultation. If you already have a protective order against an abuser and that person continues to contact and/or abuse you, our attorneys can help you. Contact us by phone or online.


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