In Georgia, a person can file a Family Violence Protective Order or a Stalking Order and ask the Court for protection. If the Court grants an Ex Parte Order, the case must be heard in 30 days or the Ex Parte Order automatically expires. A family violence TPO can be like a quasi-miniature divorce case. The Court has the authority to address issues of child custody, child support, possession of the house, and attorney’s fees. Therefore, it is vitally important to have an experienced attorney by your side during these hearings, whether you are the Petitioner or Respondent.
A family violence or stalking petition lasts up to one year but may be extended to three years or permanently. Georgia law allows a separate misdemeanor and separate felony for violations of restraining or protective orders. The crime is misdemeanor stalking or felony aggravated stalking. The consequences of a misdemeanor and felony conviction for criminal domestic violence include federal law prohibiting a person from receiving, possessing or transporting any firearm.