According to reports out of Gwinnett County, police are searching for a man who has been accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend near their one-year-old baby.
As people continue to abide by the suggestions to quarantine and isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an uptick in cases involving domestic violence in Georgia. This includes the story above that occurred in unincorporated Snellville this past Tuesday.
Officers arrived at the scene around 3:30 PM to find a woman suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. According to the victim, he was supposed to be dropping off diapers when he ultimately ended up shooting her.
His warrant states that he is facing charges of:
- Aggravated Assault in Georgia
- Aggravated Battery in Georgia
- Cruelty to Children in Georgia
- And Criminal Damage to Property in Georgia.
Many of these crimes fall under the definition of family violence. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind one of the offenses mentioned above - cruelty to children.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Cruelty to Children in Georgia is separated into three different degrees by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-70.
First-degree cruelty to children occurs when a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under the age of 18 willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's well being is jeopardized. In addition, cruelty to children in the first degree includes when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.
Second-degree cruelty to children occurs when a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.
Third-degree cruelty to children occurs when either a person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or a person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery.
Cruelty to children is considered a felony in Georgia. The penalty can include up to twenty years in prison. The only exception is with third degree child cruelty - a judge has the discretion with this degree to charge it as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime involving family violence in the state of Georgia, call our offices today. We can help you with your case.