The legal process for family violence and stalking offenses can be intimidating and confusing. Kilgore & Rodriguez understand the complexities of domestic violence defense, and handle cases with both tenacity and discretion.
Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
First and foremost, Marietta domestic violence attorneys, Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez, handle cases with both tenacity and discretion. Our firm is entirely dedicated to criminal defense. We understand how the state prepares family violence and aggravated stalking cases, and how to successfully counter it. We are skilled advocates for our clients, have expert knowledge of Georgia domestic violence laws, and decades of successful experience helping clients reach the best possible resolution of their cases and their families.
Understanding Family Violence Defense
Georgia law categorizes certain criminal acts as “family violence.” These offenses are prosecuted specially and are subject to harsher criminal sentences such as increased jail time, mandatory 24-week certified Family Violence Intervention Program, anger and violence counseling, loss of your right to carry or possess a firearm, restrictions from contact with your spouse or children, and restrictions from living in the family home. Additionally, many family violence arrests lead to TPOs (Temporary Protective Orders), or 12-month protective orders.
The deck is often stacked against defendants in family violence cases. Law enforcement officials may be predisposed to assume guilt, and only be concerned with discovering and securing evidence that points in that direction. The law, while well-intentioned to protect women, broadly defines domestic violence so that anyone who has lived under the same roof for any period of time – including ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends – may be subject to harsher penalties and restrictions under family violence laws, than they would have been otherwise.
The legal process can be intimidating and confusing, especially for defendants who are unfamiliar with it. Skilled Cobb County domestic violence attorneys Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez provide the finest legal defense available in family violence cases. We have successfully resolved many cases by finding fair alternatives to prosecution or by negotiating with state prosecutors for lesser charges.
FAMILY VIOLENCE [OCGA § 19-13-1] is defined as:
1) Any Felony Offense; or Battery, Simple Battery, Simple Assault, Assault, Stalking, Criminal Damage to Property, Unlawful Restraint, or Criminal Trespass
2) Committed Between the following:
Past or Present Spouses
Persons who are parents of the Same Child
Parents and Children
Stepparents and Stepchildren
Foster Parents and Foster Children
Persons Living or Formerly Living in the Same Household
Stalking and Aggravated Stalking Defense
Courts have a great deal of leeway interpreting evidence in stalking protective order cases. The legal standards for establishing stalking are subjective. Most stalking protective orders are justified, but they are also a tool that can be misused for revenge or leverage in ugly domestic situations. Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez have a record of success helping accused people in Georgia with stalking and aggravated stalking cases.
STALKING [OCGA § 16-5-90]:
The criminal offense of STALKING occurs when a person follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place without the consent of the other person for purposes of harassing and intimidating the other person. “Harassing and intimidating” means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for herself or her family. For a person to be guilty of stalking, the State must establish a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior. Because judges in Georgia can find virtually any single event (or acts separated by many years) to constitute a “pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior” a stalking charge can be very difficult to defend. Criminal defense attorneys Kilgore and Rodriguez have extensive experience and may be able to help with your stalking case.
AGGRAVATED STALKING [16-5-91]:
The criminal offense of AGGRAVATED STALKING occurs when a person follows, places another under surveillance, or contacts another person without her consent for purposes of harassing and intimidating her in violation of an order prohibiting such behavior, such as a protective order or condition of probation. Aggravated stalking is a felony punishable up to 10 years in state prison. Because there will be no bond at the time of arrest for aggravated stalking, the impact of such an arrest can be devastating, such as the loss of a job or eviction.
When facing serious life-changing criminal charges related to domestic violence, having a lawyer with real courtroom experience can make all the difference. Maddox and Carlos put their decades of experience to work in tirelessly defending against charges of domestic violence.
Understanding Temporary Protective Orders (TPO)
In Georgia, a court can enter a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) without a formal hearing in the presence of the target of the order. You should immediately seek legal counsel if a TPO is filed against you. TPOs are followed by formal hearings to determine whether a permanent restraining order should be in place. You will have an opportunity to defend yourself against accusations. Marietta criminal defense attorneys Maddox Kilgore and Carlos Rodriguez can help.
Law enforcement officers investigating domestic violence cases will advise an abused party on how to obtain a TPO by filing a petition in Superior Court. If the victim alleges physical violence, harassment, threats, damage to property, or a pattern of stalking behavior, the judge will issue an ex parte TPO (an order of no contact) until a hearing can be held. The Sheriff will then serve the alleged abuser with a copy of the petition, TPO, and court date for the trial.
DO NOT IGNORE A TPO. The impact of a protective order can be as damaging as a criminal conviction. A Superior Court Judge has vast authority to grant relief to a party alleging abuse, including: no contact with victim, award of temporary custody of children, eviction from a marital residence, monetary support for a spouse or children, order for psychiatric examination, and attorney’s fees. Moreover, once a judge grants a protective order, an individual can no longer carry a firearm. Such a protective order can be made permanent and will appear on an individual’s criminal record just like a criminal arrest. Most frightening however, is that once a protective order is in place, any allegation of prohibited contact made by the former girlfriend or spouse will result in a felony arrest without bond for aggravated stalking. Maddox and Carlos are highly experienced in defending against these petitions for protective order and criminal allegations of domestic violence.
Domestic & Family Violence Case Results
Young woman attacked as she was moving out of the residence she shared with her domestic partner. Police wrongfully arrested our client and charged her with domestic violence. K&R challenged the arrest in court and all charges dismissed. Client exonerated.
- Cherokee County, 2018
PROTECTIVE ORDER DISMISSED
Kennesaw man was kicked out of family home and prohibited from contacting his wife and child after the wife filed a family violence protective order against him. K&R subpoenaed witnesses and police officers, demanded a hearing to show that the wife was lying, and the order was dismissed.
- Cobb County, 2017
Wife arrested for stabbing her husband during a domestic argument. K&R worked with the prosecutor in order to get the charges dismissed altogether and save the young wife from certain deportation.
- Cobb County, 2016
What Our Clients Are Saying
“I am from out of state and needed a lawyer to represent me in a TPO hearing in Georgia. The reason I reached out to Carlos was based on all of his positive reviews, and I was not disappointed. Carlos only had a few days notice of the hearing but immediately started to work on my defense. He even took the time to meet with me on a Sunday evening to go over all of the facts of the case. Carlos was able to negotiate with the Petitioner and get the TPO dismissed without having to have a hearing in front of a judge. I was extremely confident in Carlos’s skills throughout this entire process. Carlos truly does what is best for his client, and I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for a great criminal defense lawyer.” — Lindsay
“Anyone getting a surprise divorce from a crazy spouse knows the potential damage done by false accusations. Herman Maddox handled my case with dignity, knowledge, and hard work. He is responsive, often going the extra mile answering calls after hours, and going early to prosecutor's office, etc. He communicates with other attorneys in a sensitive manner to get the best possible outcome, and avoid undermining other aspects of your family case. Staying on top of a case is what is needed to clean the record of someone wrongly accused. Herman Maddox will do that for you.” — Chung