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Domestic Violence | Simple Battery

Protecting Your Reputation and Your Future

Due to victims' rights advocacy, there is a lot of political pressure for the district attorney to hold out for conviction and jail time in cases of domestic violence. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you should contact a lawyer for advice as soon as possible. The effect of a conviction on your freedom, reputation, your job and even your future employment prospects can be catastrophic.

My name is Matt Karzen. As a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Athens, Georgia, I have seen the pendulum swing from one side to the other in domestic violence cases.

In the old days, police officers would often tell everyone to calm down and sober up. In some cases, the police officers would even persuade the victim not to press charges. While that way of doing things was not necessarily acceptable, today the pendulum has swung perhaps a bit too far the other way. In Georgia, you can be arrested for simple battery and subject to a restraining order even for minor contact such as putting your hand on someone's shoulder, and many law enforcement agencies have "mandatory arrest" and "no drop" policies.

Defending Your Rights

The key to defending domestic violence battery cases is for your lawyer to engage in appropriate contact with the alleged victim early on, and to document any pertinent history. These charges often arise in the heat of the moment and the victims do not want their spouse or significant other to go to jail. If the victim is not interested in prosecuting the case, I will try and get that information in front of the district attorney as soon as possible before the momentum of the case takes over. If the alleged victim is continuing to insist on prosecution, you need to know that early on, so a proper defense can be prepared.

In some cases, a vengeful spouse files domestic violence charges to get the upper hand in a divorce or child custody action. Active and early investigation of these bogus cases is critical, before the momentum of "policy" gains strength.

Do Not Contact the Victim Yourself: If you have been charged with domestic violence, you should never contact the victim yourself. If you do, police will charge you with violating an order of protection. Even if the victim calls you or leaves a text message, do not respond. Instead, document those instances and let your lawyer do the talking.

Free Attorney Consultation

If you have been charged with domestic abuse or simple battery, contact me, lawyer Matt Karzen, for a free consultation. My law office is in downtown Athens, Georgia. Call toll free at 866-487-0881.