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How Do I Press Charges Against an Abuser?

When you experience domestic violence, it can be hard to know what is the best thing to do to ensure your safety. Taking legal action can incite further abuse or threats of abuse from the abuser and it may result in an outcome you are not happy with. To "press charges" against someone who has committed a crime, you are essentially providing the information needed for the prosecutor and judge in the criminal court to convict your abuser of a crime. You yourself do not lay charges against your abuser, but rather facilitate their conviction through the city or state. Usually, cases of domestic violence do not result in criminal charges being pressed, however, if a protective order is in place and the abuser repeatedly violates it, they may be prosecuted and charged with a crime, such as harassment, battery or assault.

If you wish to simply protect yourself from your abuser, you do not have to request charges be pressed against them. Often, victims of domestic violence may obtain a civil family protection order to restrain the abuser from contacting them. Family protection orders can also protect your other family members or pets, provide you financial support or award you temporary sole custody of your child. This protective order is handled through the civil court and, in most cases, will not result in the abuser being charged with a crime. However, if the abuser then violates the protection order, he or she may be arrested. This can occur with or without the request of the victim. In extreme cases, the city or state will choose to prosecute the abuser, despite the wishes of the victim. At this point, the victim cannot ask the charges be dropped. Consult with an attorney experienced in domestic violence issues if you have questions about taking action against your abuser. Protection orders can be obtained via ex parte, as an immediate temporary order, until an official hearing can take place. A longer-term protection order can be obtained after a formal hearing. These orders can also give you the power to involve law enforcement if the abuser is violating the order or if you fear that they may violate it, thus providing further protection.

If you are in the Roswell, GA area and have concerns about domestic violence, Thomas C. Rowsey, P.C. can help. Experienced in domestic violence and protection order matters, attorney Thomas C. Rowsey, P.C. serves those across the greater Atlanta metropolitan area who need help taking legal action against domestic violence. Representing clients in Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, Dunwoody, Cumming, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, the experienced legal team at Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law can be your advocate. Contact our office today at (770) 993-5317 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Offering expert legal counsel in personal injury, criminal defense and family law, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law are here to help.