According to Title 16 of the Georgia Code, battery is when one person “intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another.” (OCGA. § 16-5-23.1)
“Family battery” is when the offense of battery is committed between any of the people meeting the definition of family violence in the bulleted list above.
Like regular battery, a first conviction for family battery will be considered a misdemeanor, and is only punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or 12 months in jail.
However, unlike regular battery, any second conviction of family battery, even if it’s committed against a different person, will be considered a felony. This means that a second offense of family battery could be punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
In addition, violating a family violence protective order is a criminal offense that can potentially lead to jail time. In civil court, an individual may file a petition seeking protection from their family member due to domestic violence. A petition can also be filed on behalf of a minor child.
If granted, the court can issue a protective order that may require the person accused of domestic violence to leave their shared home, make child custody arrangements, or provide the victim with temporary housing. This is similar to a restraining order.
Violating a protective order is usually considered a misdemeanor, which means it’s punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or 12 months in jail.