Norfolk Spousal Abuse Lawyer

In the State of Virginia, spousal is taken very seriously. Those who have been accused of spousal abuse could face harsh consequences such as jail time and fines.

If you have been accused of committing assault and battery against your spouse, reach out to an experienced domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. A Norfolk spousal abuse lawyer could review the facts of the case and help you build a defense against the charges. Speak to an attorney to discuss your options.

What Constitutes Spousal Abuse in Norfolk?

Spousal abuse is covered by Virginia’s assault and battery on a family member statute, section 18.2-57.2. The definition of a family or household member under Virginia Code Section 16.1-228 is a person’s spouse, a former spouse—whether or not the individual resides with the person charged. This could include parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren. It also includes any person who has a child in common with the accused individual, regardless of whether they live together, or any person cohabitating with the charged individual or has lived with that individual within the prior 12 months, along with any children.

What to Expect Following an Accusation of Spousal Abuse?

If the person has been accused of spousal abuse, they can expect a possible order from the court to have no hostile contact or no contact at all with the spouse. No-contact orders are not always given. Additionally, if it is a no hostile-contact order, there cannot be any arguments or any threats made against the spouse. The accused person may also be ordered to enroll in anger-management classes pending their next hearing. A seasoned spousal abuse lawyer could help ensure your rights are protected and help you receive a more favorable outcome.

Can a Restraining Order or Protective Order Be Filed Against Someone Who Has Been Accused of Spousal Abuse?

A protective order may be filed and enforced against someone who is only accused of spousal abuse. Getting a protective order does not require a conviction. The petitioner only needs to establish a reasonable fear or apprehension of bodily injury, which is a factual determination made by the trial court.

If the court finds that a warrant has been issued for spousal abuse, then the court also needs to find that there is a pending danger of further abuse should the protective order not be issued.

Penalties of a Conviction

A first-offense conviction of assault and battery of a family member or spousal abuse is a Class one misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail as well as the possibility of a  $2,500 fine. Three or more convictions of assault and battery on a family member is a Class six felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors regarding penalties would include serious injury or whether the accused person has previously been convicted of assault and battery on a family member.

Mitigating Factors

As for mitigating factors, the court will listen to the alleged abuse victim, and they will have a say in whether there should be a punishment or how severe the punishment may be. There is always the possibility for mitigating factors.

Seek Help from a Norfolk Spousal Abuse Lawyer Today

If an individual has been accused or charged with spousal abuse, they should immediately contact an attorney, who will be able to discuss the next steps and begin the evidence-gathering process.

A Norfolk spousal abuse lawyer can help because they will know the prosecutors, judges, and local rules and customs that may spare an accused person time, money, and stress. Schedule a consultation today to get started building your defense.