Although domestic abuse really is a horrible thing, the reality is that many residents of Gwinnett County and those who live in other parts of the Atlanta metro area wind up getting accused of it. Many times, tempers can flare within the home and, before one knows it, police are at the door.
Sadly, in many cases, the report of domestic assault is either outright false or, at a minimum, grossly exaggerated. In other cases, an honest person did make a one-time mistake.
In any event though, Georgia residents accused of these sorts of crimes are going to want to mount a strong criminal defense to the charges. Even if a first-time offender might not be as a practical matter facing jail, several significant consequences can result even from one conviction of a crime of domestic violence.
For instance, although Georgia law does not require a person convicted of domestic violence to surrender their firearms, federal law sharply limits such a person's right to own or possess a gun. Officially, the federal law controls even over the laws of the state of Georgia, meaning a person convicted of a domestic offense who happens to be a gun owner may have to re-evaluate his or her lifestyle in a fundamental way. The only exception is if the person so convicted gets pardoned, has the record expunged or otherwise has his or her civil rights "restored" via a formal process.
There may be other serious collateral consequences to getting a rap for domestic violence as well, including lost job opportunities and other adverse consequences. This is why it is generally best for a person accused of a crime of domestic violence to consider his or her options with an experienced Georgia defense attorney before making any final decisions about what to do.