Probation Violations in Georgia

In Georgia, a common consequence after a conviction of either a misdemeanor or a felony is a term of probation. A separate proceeding may occur if the accused, after conviction of a crime, violates his/her probationary conditions. This separate proceeding is called a probation revocation.

When an accused is sentenced to probation, he/she is usually required to comply with certain conditions in order to successfully complete probation. If these conditions are not strictly complied with, it may result in his/her probation being revoked. Common probationary terms include, but are not limited to:

  • Regular reporting to a probation officer
  • Maintaining a job while on probation
  • No contact orders
  • Loss of gun rights
  • Drug counseling and treatment
  • Community service hours
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Random alcohol and drug screens
  • No new arrests

In Georgia, there are essentially three ways to violate probation:

  1. Technical Violations: This occurs when the probationer fails to meet a technical condition of his/her probation such as failing to pay restitution to the victim, failing to report to his/her probation officer, or failing to pay fines associated with probation.
  2. Special Condition Violation: This means that the probationer failed to comply with special conditions, which were imposed by the judge on the probationer, such as failing to comply with random drug screens or drug counseling.
  3. Substantive Violations: This occurs when the probationer was arrested for committing another criminal offense while on probation. In Georgia, this is usually the most serious violation of probation and could potentially revoke the probationary term and require the probationer to serve the rest of his/her remaining sentence in jail or prison.

When one of these probation violations occurs, the probation officer may file a petition to revoke the term of probation and notify the probationer of his/her intentions to do so. If this occurs, there will be a hearing called a “probation revocation” hearing to determine whether the probation will be revoked and the consequences of that revocation.

Due to the possibility of jail time if a person’s probation is revoked, it is of vital importance to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands all possible options when dealing with probation violations. Here, at the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, our attorneys are skilled and knowledgeable about these proceedings and we advocate tirelessly for our clients and their constitutional rights. Therefore, if you have an active probation warrant or are at risk of your probation being revoked, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Driving while License Suspended or Revoked in Georgia

In Georgia, if a person is driving on a suspended license, he/she may face jail time, probation, as well as monetary fines. If the accused is found guilty of driving while his/her license is suspended, the accused will be charged with a misdemeanor, as long as it is his/her first offense within the last 5 years.

According to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-121, any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state without being licensed or while his/her privilege to drive in the State of Georgia is suspended, disqualified, or revoked may be found guilty of the offense of driving while license is suspended. Under Georgia law, there are numerous violations that can lead to a driver’s license being suspended or revoked. Some include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • Conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI);
  • After a DUI arrest, failure to consent to a blood, breath, or urine test following the reading of Georgia’s implied consent law;
  • Conviction of driving without insurance;
  • Conviction of vehicular homicide;
  • Failure to pay Georgia’s Super Speeder fine within its required deadline; OR
  • For accumulating 15 traffic points within a 24-month period.

Penalties

As stated above, the offense of driving while license is suspended/ revoked will be characterized as a misdemeanor if it is the driver’s first offense within the previous 5-year period. If the accused is convicted of a misdemeanor, he/she may be sentenced anywhere between 2 days and 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $500-$1,000. However, if the accused has had a prior conviction or two prior convictions, within the last 5 years, for driving while license is suspended, he/she may be charged with a “high and aggravated misdemeanor.” This means that the sentence may involve anywhere between 10 days and 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000-$2,500. Finally, if the accused has had four or more convictions of driving while license is suspended within the last 5 years, the charge will be classified as a felony. A person convicted of a felony may be sentenced to 1-5 years in prison with a fine of $2,500-$5,000.

Upon receiving the accused person’s record of conviction for driving while license is suspended, the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services will impose an additional suspension or disqualification of 6 months. Once the additional 6 months has expired, the driver is eligible to reinstate his/her driver’s license.

Contact Us

Due to the severity of the penalties for driving on a suspended license, it is of vital importance to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable of all possible options for an accused dealing with such serious allegations. At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, we are skilled at defending such charges. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested for driving while license is suspended, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Speeding Laws in Georgia

In Georgia, a speeding citation can result in a number of possible consequences. Not only will there be a monetary fine associated with driving over the maximum speed limit, but also the citation can add points to the driver’s record, which in turn could suspend his/her license, and possibly even increase costs of insurance.

The amount of the fine for speeding depends on multiple factors such as where the violation occurred, the driver’s previous record, and the posted speed limit. However, the maximum fines for a first time speeding violation are as follows:

  • $25 for driving > 5 mph over < 10 mph over the speed limit
  • $100 for driving > 10 mph over < 14 mph over the speed limit
  • $125 for driving > 14 mph over < 19 mph over the speed limit
  • $150 for driving > 19 mph over < 24 mph over the speed limit
  • $500 for driving > 24 mph over < 34 mph over the speed limit

Additionally, according to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-189, drivers in Georgia must pay an additional penalty on top of the fine collected from the speeding citation when drivers have been considered a “Super Speeder” under Georgia law. This fine is an additional $200. In Georgia, a “Super Speeder” is characterized as a driver convicted of speeding in one of the following ways:

  • The driver is convicted of speeding at 75 mph or more on a two-lane road; OR
  • The driver is convicted of speeding at 85 mph or more on any other road or highway in the State of Georgia.

The Georgia Super Speeder penalty must be paid prior to the deadline stated in the statute or the driver’s license will be at risk of suspension.

Point System

In Georgia, one of the consequences of certain speeding citations is that points are added to a driver’s record upon conviction. The Georgia Point System ranges from 2-6 points per offense. A driver with 15 points in a 24-month period will have his/her driver’s license suspended. The following speeding citations have the below-mentioned stated consequences to a driver’s record:

  • 15- 18 mph over the speed limit = 2 points
  • 19-23 mph over the speed limit = 3 points
  • 24-33 mph over the speed limit = 4 points
  • 34 + mph over the speed limit = 6 points

Due to the possibility of having your driver’s license suspended if either you are at risk of accumulating too many points or failure to pay your Georgia Super Speeder penalty, it is of vital importance to a hire an experienced traffic/ criminal defense attorney to advise you of all of your possible options, as well as your constitutional rights. At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, we do just that. Therefore, if you have been charged with speeding over the maximum limit, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Aggravated Battery Charges in Georgia

In Georgia, there are multiple types of battery offenses such as simple battery, battery, family violence battery, and aggravated battery. This blog will solely focus on aggravated battery.

According to O.C.G.A. § 16-5-24, a person commits the offense of aggravated battery when he/she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him/her of a member of his/her body, by rendering a member of his/her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his/her body or a member thereof. The crime of aggravated battery does not require that the victim’s disfigurement be permanent, however, the injury must be more severe than a superficial wound. Some examples of aggravated battery include, but are not limited to:

  • Striking a person with a weapon or dangerous object;
  • Inflicting an injury upon a person in which causes them to have blurred vision, broken bones, severe bruising, memory lapse, or permanent nerve damage;
  • Shooting a person with a firearm;
  • Inflicting an injury upon a person in which causes them to suffer temporary or permanent disfigurement;
  • A battery against a particular group of people that are protected such as police officers, healthcare providers, social services workers, the elderly, and the developmentally disabled.

A conviction of aggravated battery requires the jury to find that an accused person acted with intent. Thus, an experienced criminal defense attorney may defend these allegations by arguing that the accused did not have the requisite state of mind to commit an aggravated battery. Another example of an affirmative defense that may be raised in a case like this is self-defense.

Penalties

An aggravated battery charge is a serious offense and is characterized as a felony. A person convicted of this offense can be punished anywhere between 1-20 years in prison. However, the punishment is enhanced when the victim of an aggravated battery is part of a particular class of persons. If the victim is a police officer engaged in his/her official duties then the accused, if convicted, may be sentenced to a prison term of at least 10 years, but no more than 20 years. Furthermore, if the victim is a person over the age of 65 years old, the accused may be punished anywhere between 5-20 years in prison. Additionally, if the victim is a teacher or other school personnel, and the offense occurred within a school safety zone, the penalty upon conviction is at least 5 years, but no more than 20 years in prison. Finally, if the aggravated battery is considered to have been committed against a person who has a familial relationship with the accused, he/she could be sentenced anywhere between 3-20 years in prison.

Due to the severity of the penalties for an aggravated battery charge, it is of vital importance to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable of all possible options for an accused dealing with such serious allegations. At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, our lawyers are trained at defending such charges. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested for aggravated battery, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Drug Possession in Atlanta, Fulton County Georgia

The legal system in Fulton County treats drug crimes very seriously. If you have been arrested for the possession of drugs in Fulton County, you could be facing prison time.

If you have been arrested in Fulton County, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case. The Fulton County Superior Court is located at 136 Pryor Street in Atlanta, Georgia. Shortly after arrest, you will have a First Appearance hearing where the Judge will notify you of your charges and rights and then make a determination for bond. In Georgia, there are five factors Judges use to determine whether or not to release someone on bond. These are known as the Ayala factors (Ayala v. State, 262 Ga. 704 (1993)). Judges may issue a bond upon a finding of the following factors:

  • The person poses no significant risk of fleeing or failing to appear in court when required
  • The person poses no significant risk or danger to a person, property, or community
  • The person poses no significant risk of committing a felony while out on bond
  • The person poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing justice

Under the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, drugs are classified into 5 schedules based on their potential for abuse, tendency for addiction, and their recognized medical uses. Schedule I is considered to have the highest risk of physical and psychological dependency and are considered to have no medical use, while Schedule V is recognized to have lower risk of dependency and legitimate medical use. The following are common examples of drugs that the lawyers of W. Scott Smith P.C. have defended in the past.

Schedule I

Heroin, THC, LSD, and MDMA (ecstasy).

Schedule II

Cocaine, Codein, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Methadone, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Oxycontin, Percocet

Schedule III

Suboxone, Ketamine, Anabolic steroids

Schedule IV

Xanax, Ambien, Valium

Drug Possession Penalties in Fulton County

The penalties in Fulton County and in Georgia are harsh. Possession of drugs in Georgia is a felony, except for marijuana if it less than an ounce. If it is your first offense and you are found guilty of a Schedule I or II drug, you are looking at 2-15 years in prison, intense probation, and high fines.

On second or subsequent offenses of Schedule I or II drugs, you are looking at at least 5 years in prison, and up to 30, with the possibility of similar probation and high fines as the first.

If you are found with Schedule III, IV, or V drugs, the penalty will be 1 to 5 years in prison. If it is your second or subsequent offense, you are facing 1 to 10 years prison time.

Additionally, if you are found guilty and a car was used during the felony, your driver’s license will be suspended.

How the State Proves Possession

The drugs do not have to be found on your person for you to be guilty of drug possession. Driving a car in which drugs are found is sufficient for the law to determine that you are in violation of the Controlled Substance Act. Even if the drugs are found thrown out or hidden, the State will still try to prove you were in possession. Depending on where the drugs were found, two people or more can be considered to have possession of the same drugs. Important facts for both the state and defense are whether or not paraphernalia or residue in plain view was found, and also whether you attempted to flee.

Additionally, drug crimes almost always implicate Fourth Amendment a analysis which can serve as a basis for suppression of the drugs. This means that if the State unlawfully searched or seized the drugs, the drugs are thrown out of evidence, and the case dismissed.

Talk to an Attorney

Because a conviction of drug possession carries serious prison time, it is important you speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about drug possession laws in Georgia. Pleading guilty to any drug possession offense will have lifelong consequences that we want you to avoid. We would like for you to understand what you are facing and all of your legal options so that you can move on from this arrest in the best way possible. Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION today at 404-581-0999 and mention this blog.

College Park Georgia DUI Attorney

College Park, Georgia is home to the College Park Municipal Court where Kim Cornwell prosecutes DUI, traffic, marijuana, and City Ordinance cases made by the College Park Police Department. The Honorable Judge Honorable Monica Ewing presides over the College Park Municipal Court which is located at 3717 College Street in College Park, Georgia.

 

One of the most common cases we see in College Park Municipal Court are those charged under Georgia’s Driving under the Influence statute codified O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391. In Georgia, DUI can be charged in either two ways. Driving under the Influence Per Se means the State is charging the individual with being over the .08 legal limit for drivers over 21 years old. It is a .02 legal limit for DUI cases involving drivers under 21. The second way a DUI can be charged is DUI Less Safe. Under Georgia law, DUI Less Safe means the person is accused of driving under the influence to the extent they were a less safe driver. We typically see DUI Less Safe cases where there is no chemical test, or where there is a chemical test but it is below the legal limit.

 

There are numerous defenses to DUI to be explored and raised. A skilled DUI defense attorney must fiercely evaluate and raise issues starting at the purpose of the stop and ultimately the probable cause in making the arrest. Factors to be assessed are the performance of field sobriety tests if any were conducted, the lack of odor or admissions, and the driving that was observed. Additionally, the Implied Consent portion of the DUI case is highly relevant in DUI defense because in order for the chemical test to be admissible in Court, the proper Implied Consent must be read after arrest, and there must be true knowing and voluntary consent to submit to the chemical test. Under Georgia law, mere acquiescence to authority is not voluntary consent. It should be noted that any refusal to submit to breath testing following an arrest is deemed inadmissible evidence given the Georgia Constitution gives the right to decline incriminatory acts. This law was clarified and confirmed in Elliott v. State, 305 Ga. 179 (2019).

 

In all first DUI cases, the mandatory minimum sentence is 24 hours in jail, 12 months on probation, a $300.00 fine plus court costs (nearly doubles it), 40 hours of community service, a Risk Reduction course, and an alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary. The maximum sentence is 12 months in jail. On a second, or third DUI in 10 years, the jail time is increased, as well as the fines and the community service.

 

Remember that DUI is a misdemeanor crime that goes onto your criminal history. In Georgia, DUI can never be expunged or restricted, and thus a DUI conviction will remain on your history forever.

 

A DUI charge also has intense license repercussions.  If there is a refusal on the chemical test, the Officer can suspend your license for at least a year. This must be challenged within 30 days of your arrest, so time is of the essence in DUI cases. Depending on what else the individual is charged with, and how many prior DUIs he or she has, it is possible a DUI conviction could lead to a 5-year habitual violator suspension.

 

The options in College Park Municipal Court are to enter into pretrial negotiations with the goal of avoiding the harsh consequences of a DUI, or to enter a Not Guilty plea and send the case to the Clayton County State Court where motions and a trial can occur. As experienced DUI lawyers practicing in College Park regularly, we have the skill and knowledge to accomplish your goals both in College Park and in Clayton County. We are trial lawyers constantly staying on top of DUI law. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in College Park Municipal Court, call us now for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999.

 

 

 

Roswell Georgia DUI Attorney

Roswell, Georgia is home to the Roswell Municipal Court where Judge Brian Hansford presides over DUI, Traffic, Marijuana, and other City Violation cases brought by Roswell Police Department. The Roswell Municipal Court is located at 38 Hill Street in Roswell, Georgia.

 

One of the most common cases we see in the Roswell Municipal Court are DUI cases. In Georgia, DUI can be charged in either two ways under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391.  Driving under the Influence Per Se means the State is charging the individual with being over the .08 legal limit for drivers over 21 years old. It is a .02 legal limit for DUI cases involving drivers under 21. DUI Per Se is charged where there is a breath, blood, or urine test. The second way a DUI can be charged in Georgia is DUI Less Safe. Under Georgia law, DUI Less Safe means the person is accused of driving under the influence to the extent they were a less safe driver. We typically see DUI Less Safe cases where there is no chemical test, or where there is a chemical test but it is below the legal limit.

 

There are numerous defenses to DUI to be explored and raised. A skilled DUI defense attorney must fiercely evaluate and raise issues starting at the purpose of the stop and ultimately the probable cause in making the arrest. Factors to be assessed are the performance of field sobriety tests if any were conducted, the lack of odor or admissions, and the driving that was observed. Additionally, the Implied Consent portion of the DUI case is highly relevant in DUI defense because in order for the chemical test to be admissible in Court, the proper Implied Consent must be read after arrest, and there must be true knowing and voluntary consent to submit to the chemical test. Under Georgia law, mere acquiescence to authority is not voluntary consent. It should be noted that any refusal to submit to breath testing following an arrest is deemed inadmissible evidence given the Georgia Constitution gives the right to decline incriminatory acts. This law was clarified and confirmed in Elliott v. State, 305 Ga. 179 (2019).

 

In all first DUI cases, the mandatory minimum sentence is 24 hours in jail, 12 months on probation, a $300.00 fine plus court costs (nearly doubles it), 40 hours of community service, a Risk Reduction course, and an alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary. The maximum sentence is 12 months in jail on each charge. On a second, or third DUI in 10 years, the jail time is increased, as well as the fines and the community service.

 

Remember that DUI is a misdemeanor crime that goes onto your criminal history. In Georgia, DUI can never be expunged or restricted, and thus a DUI conviction will remain on your history forever.

 

A DUI charge also has intense license repercussions.  If there is a refusal on the chemical test, the Officer can suspend your license for at least a year. This must be challenged within 30 days of your arrest, so time is of the essence in DUI cases. Depending on what else the individual is charged with, and how many prior DUIs he or she has, it is possible a DUI conviction could lead to a 5-year habitual violator suspension.

 

The options in Roswell Municipal Court are to enter into pretrial negotiations with the goal of avoiding the harsh consequences of a DUI, or to enter a Not Guilty plea and send the case to the Fulton County State Court where motions and a trial can occur. As experienced DUI lawyers practicing in Roswell regularly, we have the skill and knowledge to accomplish your goals both in Roswell and in Fulton County. We are trial lawyers constantly staying on top of DUI law. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Roswell Municipal Court, call us now for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999.

 

 

 

The Georgia First Offender Act

The First Offender Act is a progressive statute implemented by the State of Georgia where a person who has never been convicted of a prior felony offense can be sentenced on a pending charge, but subsequently, have those charges sealed by the court if he/she successfully completes their First Offender sentence.

According to O.C.G.A. § 42-8-60, the accused may be eligible under the First Offender Act if the following statements are true:

  • The accused has never been convicted of a felony;
  • The accused have never been previously sentenced under the First Offender Act;
  • The offense charged is not a serious crime committed against a law enforcement officer engaged in his/her duties;
  • The offense charged is not Driving Under the Influence (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391);
  • The offense charged is not a serious violent felony (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.1);
  • The offense charged is not a serious sexual offense (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-6.2);
  • The offense charged is not related to child pornography (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-100.2);
  • The offense charged is not related to electronic sexual exploitation of a minor, computer pornography (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-100);
  • The offense charged is not trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-46); and
  • The offense charged is not neglecting disabled adults or elderly people (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-101).

HOW IT WORKS

Trial counsel for the accused must ask the judge to sentence him/her under the First Offender Act. Then, the judge will consider whether to sentence the accused to First Offender after he/she hears arguments from both the prosecution and the defense. If the judge sentences the accused under First Offender, his/her official criminal history will describe the disposition of the crime charged as “First Offender” until the sentencing term is successfully completed. If the accused violates any conditions placed on him/her during their term of sentence, including committing another crime, the judge has the discretion to revoke the First Offender status. This means that the accused will be sentenced and convicted, which will be shown on his/her official criminal history. In revoking one’s status, the judge does have discretion to sentence the accused to the maximum penalty for the crime charged. However, if the term of sentence is successfully completed, the clerk of court will seal the offense charged from his/her official criminal history.

CONTACT US

At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, our attorneys are knowledgeable about the consequences of a criminal conviction on one’s record, as well as all possible options for our clients dealing with pending allegations. Therefore, if you have been recently arrested on a criminal charge or your case is currently pending, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

License Suspension after DUI Conviction in Georgia

Following a DUI conviction, the State of Georgia has authority to suspend/ revoke the driver’s license of the accused. However, the length of the suspension/ revocation depends on his/her past criminal history. In Georgia, the Department of Driver’s Services determines the duration of a license suspension/ revocation by looking at the past 5 years of criminal history.

For a first DUI conviction in the last 5 years, the maximum license suspension is 12 months. However, if a Risk Reduction course, or otherwise known as DUI School, is completed and a reinstatement fee is paid, the license of the accused may be reinstated after 120 days. During this period, the accused may be eligible to apply for a limited driving permit for the duration of the suspension if he/she is 21 years or older and prior to the suspension he/she validly held a Georgia driver’s license.

However, if the driver’s license of the accused was suspended after the arrest for the same offense that he/she was convicted of, because either (1) he/she did not install an interlock device within 30 days of arrest; (2) failed to appeal the driver’s suspension within 30 days of arrest; or (3) did appeal the license suspension within the deadline, but subsequently, lost the appeal, then the accused will be ineligible for a limited permit following his/her DUI conviction.

Furthermore, if the accused was convicted of DUI Drugs instead of DUI Alcohol, no limited permit is available. The entire suspension must be completed in order to reinstate his/her driver’s license.

Alternatively, for a second DUI conviction in the last 5 years, the consequences will include at least an 18-month license suspension. However, the license suspension can be prolonged for 3 years if certain conditions are not met. During this period, there is a hard suspension of 120 days where no limited permit is available. However, after this term has been completed, the accused may be granted a limited permit if he/she installs an interlock device in their vehicle for a minimum period of 8 months. If the interlock device was maintained properly for the full 8 months and a reinstatement fee is paid, he/she may be eligible for early reinstatement, contingent on whether any other conditions, which may be required, are completed. However, even if the accused failed to install an interlock device, he/she would still be eligible for a limited driving permit after he/she has successfully completed 18 months of the suspension.

Finally, for a third DUI conviction in the last 5 years, the consequences include a 5-year license revocation. In these cases, there is a 2-year hard revocation period, which otherwise means that there is no availability for a limited permit during that period. However, after two years, the accused may apply for a probationary license for the remainder of the revocation period.

CONTACT US                                                                                                     

At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, we understand that there are grave consequences following a DUI conviction, including a license suspension or revocation. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about all possible options for our clients dealing with a pending DUI charge. Therefore, if you have been recently arrested for a DUI or your case is currently pending, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.

Family Violence Battery Charges in Georgia

In Georgia, a family violence battery 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 a battery when he/she intentionally causes substantial physical or visible bodily harm to another. However, in order for a person to be charged with family violence battery, 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.

Penalties

A family violence battery can either be characterized as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the past criminal history of the accused. A major consequence of a family violence battery conviction is that any future convictions of the same crime is an automatic felony. The first conviction of a family violence battery is sentenced as a misdemeanor, however, the second and subsequent convictions have a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. This rule, however, does not apply to simple battery- family violence. According to O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23, simple battery occurs either when:

  • A person makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking manner with the person of another; or
  • Intentionally causes physical harm to another.

Simple battery-family violence is identical to the crime of simple battery, except the alleged crime occurred between the following people listed above, which constitutes a familial tie.

After the first conviction of simple battery-family violence, unlike family violence battery, the second conviction is still merely characterized as a misdemeanor. A person convicted of simple battery- family violence or misdemeanor family violence battery may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Due to the severity of the penalties for a family violence charge, it is of vital importance to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable of all possible options for an accused dealing with such a serious charge. At the Law Offices of W. Scott Smith, our lawyers are trained at defending such allegations. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been arrested for family violence battery or simple battery-family violence, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.