In Georgia, battery-family violence is the identical charge of battery except that the alleged victim in the case has some sort of familial connection to the accused. The State of Georgia also takes family violence offenses very seriously and they can prosecute the accused of family violence, even if the victim does not want to press charges.

According to O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23.1, a person commits “battery” when he/she intentionally causes substantial physical or visible bodily harm to another. However, in order for a person to be charged with battery- family violence, the crime must have occurred between the following people:

  • Spouses or former spouses;
  • Individuals who have a child together;
  • Parents and children;
  • Step-parents and step-children;
  • Foster-parents and foster-children; and
  • Individuals living or formerly living in the same household.


Battery- family violence can either be characterized as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the past criminal history of the accused. Major consequences of battery-family violence are the loss of gun rights, serving time on probation, or potentially in custody, and any future conviction of the same crime may be transferred to the Futon County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute as a felony.

Fulton County has strict policies in place for offenses related to family violence. If the accused is previously convicted of battery-family violence, and they are subsequently arrested for the same charge, the Fulton County Solicitor-General’s Office will often transfer it to the District Attorney’s Office in order to indict as a felony.

Furthermore, the prosecutors in the Fulton County Solicitor-General’s Office do not have much discretion when it comes to these types of cases. Their policy is generally to not allow prosecutors in their office to reduce family violence charges to a lesser-included offense without the authorization from a supervisor. Thus, it is of vital importance to hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney with trial experience to defend allegations such as these due to the policies put in place by the Fulton County Solicitor-General’s Office. In many cases, going to trial might be a client’s best option to avoid a conviction, save their gun rights, and protect their freedom.


At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, our lawyers are trained at defending such allegations, we are knowledgeable about all the potential defenses of such a charge, and we have experience at trial advocating for our clients and their constitutional rights. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested for battery-family violence in Fulton County, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.