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Can Domestic Violence be a Form of Self Defense?

You cannot be convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence, if you show evidence that you only committed the violent act to protect yourself or another person from an immediate threat of physical violence.

Almost everyone in Atlanta has seen the poster for the movie The Shining, even if they are too young or too easily frightened to have seen the movie itself. In the poster, a woman, Wendy, hides behind a locked bathroom door, holding a knife, while her husband Jack hacks through the door with an axe; his menacing glare is one of the most famous moments in cinematography. From a legal standpoint, what would happen if Wendy stabbed Jack and injured him? Would it be attempted murder? Would it be domestic violence? Would it be self-defense? To find out more about how defendants can be acquitted of violent crime charges by demonstrating that they acted in self-defense, contact the Atlanta domestic violence defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, also known as family violence, is any act of violence committed against one’s close family member. A violent crime is also considered domestic violence if the defendant and the victim are not related by blood or marriage but are in a dating relationship, even if the relationship has only been going on for a short time when the act of violence occurs. Stalking, even when it does not involve any physical contact, also counts as domestic violence when the defendant and the victim are members of the same family or are current or former romantic partners. Victims of domestic violence can be any age and gender.

Domestic violence is a more serious crime than a similar act committed against a stranger, a former co-worker, or even a platonic friend because the victim is often financially and emotionally dependent on the defendant. Punching the person who took your parking space is assault, but punching your teenaged child is worse, even though a doctor examining both victims might observe no difference in their physical injuries.

Self Defense and Georgia Law

According to Georgia law, it is not a crime to defend yourself or another person from an immediate threat of physical violence, even if you use physical force to accomplish this. Police often get phone calls about couples who get into physical fights. If there is evidence that your partner was the aggressor in the altercation and any force you used was only to protect yourself or another member of your household, then your partner is guilty of domestic violence, but you are not. If you were involved in such a dispute, consult a criminal defense lawyer.

Atlanta Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are accused of a violent act against a family member, or if you are being charged with threatening to physically attack a family member. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about your case.