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Georgia's Family Violence Act


There is not a crime in Georgia called Family Violence. Rather, The Family Violence Act covers the commission of certain types of crimes against certain persons.



If you commit a:

OCGA § 19-13-1
See also OCGA § 17-4-20.1


Upon any of the following persons, it is considered family violence:

  • Past or present spouses

  • Persons who are parents of the same child

  • Parents and children

  • Stepparents and stepchildren

  • Foster parents and foster children

  • Other persons living or formerly living in the same house




Custody of Children
If you are divorced and do not have custody of your children, a family violence offense can actually prevent you from having visitation. Even if visitation is allowed, it can be severely restricted in the following manner:

The judge can include any or all of the following conditions in an order:

  1. Any exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting; 

  2. Your visitation can be supervised by another person or agency; 

  3. You might have to complete a family violence intervention program;

  4. You can be ordered to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or any Schedule I controlled substance during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding the visitation;

  5. You could be required to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised visitation;

  6. You could be prohibited from having any overnight visitation;

  7. You could be required to post a bond for the return and safety of the child; and

  8. The judge can impose any other condition he deems necessary.

Possession of a Firearm
Federal Law (USC Title 18 Section 922 (g)(9)) provides that if you are convicted of a Family Violence crime, you cannot possess any firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

A conviction for an offense involving family violence can affect immigration status.

No Preset Bail Bond
Many misdemeanors have a schedule of bail bonds. Once you are arrested you can bond right out. However, offenses prosecuted under the Family Violence Act have no preset bond. In order to obtain a bail bond, you will have to appear before a judge.

Many crimes of family violence are committed on Friday night. In many jurisdictions, you will not see a judge until the following Monday, meaning you will have all weekend to cool off.

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