Everyone in the world deserves a life free of domestic violence, but, sadly, it is shockingly common. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million people in the United States are abused by their spouse or intimate partner each year. In Georgia, behavior that can be considered domestic or family violence includes assault, battery, stalking, criminal damage, trespassing, and unlawful restraint. If you’ve endured violence in your relationship, the Atlanta domestic violence lawyers at Bell & Washington can help.
Domestic Violence Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
The law in Georgia provides robust protection for the victims of domestic violence. If you have suffered abuse at the hands of your spouse or intimate partner, the Atlanta domestic violence lawyers at the Bell & Washington Law Firm could petition the Superior Court to issue a protective order.
Court proceedings are rarely concluded quickly, which is a problem when a delay could place one of the parties involved in physical or emotional danger. To address this shortcoming, judges in Georgia can issue what is known as temporary ex parte orders.
Temporary Ex Parte Orders
Temporary ex parte orders are issued in Georgia to make sure that no harm comes to domestic violence victims while their cases are pending.
A petition must be filed in Superior Court to obtain a temporary ex parte order, but no hearing is held, and the alleged abuser does not have to be notified. Judges issue these orders when they are convinced that the petitioning party is in imminent danger, and they last for up to 30 days or until a hearing is scheduled. If you need help filing a temporary ex parte order, our team od Atlanta-based domestic violence lawyers can help.
Family Violence Protective Orders
Family violence protection orders are issued following a hearing where both parties are given an opportunity to present evidence and make arguments. Judges pay particularly close attention during these hearings as false allegations of domestic violence are not uncommon. When they are issued, family violence protection orders usually remain in effect for one year. However, this period may be expended to three years if the judge deems it necessary.
Protective orders may be mere pieces of paper but violating them in Georgia is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Judges make sure that abusers are well aware of these consequences when they rule on these matters. If a judge issues a protective order in your case, your abuser may no longer be able to:
- Brother, harass, mistreat or injure you
- Interfere with your movements and travel
- Stalk you or place you under surveillance
- Contact you for the purposes of harassment or intimidation
- Live in the same home as you
- Be in close proximity to you or your family
- Spend time with your children
- Dispose of your property or pets
- Disconnect your utilities
- Cancel your automobile, health or life insurance policies
- Take your car
Judges may also order your abuser to attend counseling sessions to deal with their anger management or substance abuse issues and failing to attend these sessions can lead to more severe sanctions.
Atlanta-Based Lawyers Fiercely Defending Victims of Domestic Violence
The Atlanta domestic violence lawyers at Bell & Washington take allegations of domestic abuse very seriously and will do everything within our power to protect your safety if your spouse or intimate partner abuses or threatens to harm you.
Our domestic violence lawyers also understand that the outcome of domestic violence hearings is sometimes a matter of life and death, and we will leave no stone unturned when we advocate on your behalf before a judge.
If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your family and would like to seek legal protection, you can call us immediately to discuss the matter and learn more about your rights.
Alternatively, you can use our online contact form, and we will immediately get in touch with you to set up an initial consultation because it’s always better to act sooner rather than later when it comes to circumstances of domestic violence.