Hampton Roads Spousal Abuse Lawyer

Spousal abuse is physical or emotional abuse of someone to whom a person is married. This definition means legally married, so even if a couple is separated but still married, they are considered married up until the divorce. It is all covered under the same domestic abuse statute. There is no separate spousal abuse statute.

Domestic violence and spousal abuse are very similar and they tend to be used interchangeably, but they are not. Spousal abuse is narrower. That is because it applies only to a husband, a wife, or a legal partner, whereas domestic violence in Virginia refers to a larger umbrella of family members. In Virginia, spousal abuse is a subset of domestic violence. If someone has been accused of abusing their spouse, they should seek the services of a Hampton Roads spousal abuse lawyer. A qualified domestic violence attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to build an individual’s defense.

Process of a Spousal Abuse Arrest

A person is likely to be arrested and processed for the spousal abuse offense. Depending on the nature of the abuse, the person may be held without bond. The person will likely to have to reside in a different place than their spouse while this case is going on and, again, that depends on the facts of the case. But, many times, it will be a requirement of the court that, if a person is on bond, they cannot have contact with their spouse while the case is ongoing. Sometimes, a judge might put a protective order in place, in order to ensure that both parties have no contact and are protected.

Penalties for Spousal Abuse

A person can expect that they are going to be arrested and questioned by the police about the incident. They will be told to have no contact with their spouse and that they will be charged with, at the minimum, a misdemeanor crime carrying a maximum of 12 months in jail. If the injuries were considered severe, the person could be charged with a felony. These penalties are quite severe which is why it is important to work with a qualified Hampton Roads spousal abuse lawyer that could attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

Necessity of Consulting a Hampton Roads Spousal Abuse Attorney

Spousal abuse is a serious charge. If a person is convicted of spousal abuse or any sort of domestic violence charge, they would lose their right, under federal law and Virginia law, to possess a firearm. Given that it is impossible at this point to have the person’s rights restored federally, it would essentially be a lifetime ban on ever owning a firearm again, which can affect employment if the person was working in an area in which they must have a firearm. Also, it is the kind of charge that follows a person and the kind of charge that, especially if the person is a public figure, could be embarrassing or damaging. If someone has been charged with abusing their spouse, they should consult a Hampton Roads spousal abuse lawyer. An experienced spousal abuse lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to build an individual’s defense.