Unique Aspects of Norfolk Domestic Violence Cases

In Norfolk, there are several instances which constitute domestic violence. Those things include forceful detention, assault and battery, sexual assault, stalking, and any other acts that could put one in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury.

If a person has been accused of domestic violence in Norfolk, they can expect that the charge will be taken very seriously. If there are allegations that such conduct occurred, a person can expect that law enforcement will investigate those allegations fully. Additionally, someone charged with domestic assault could expect to be subject to protective orders and sometimes removal of children in the household.

Following a charge or accusation of domestic violence, it is best to retain the services of a skilled defense attorney. An attorney could help you understand the unique aspects of Norfolk domestic violence cases.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Norfolk?

There is not a specific statute dedicated to domestic violence in the State of Virginia. Domestic violence would come under the Statute 18.2-57.2, which is assault and battery against the family or household members. Assault and battery is any unlawful touching, causing injury. An assault is an act or offer to do bodily harm coupled with the present ability to do that harm and causing a reasonable fear of bodily harm.

A family member is defined in the Virginia code as a spouse, child, or anybody living with the abused person within the last 12 months. A family member can also include step-parents and step-children, which is stated in Statute 16.1-228.

Family abuse means any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. The act is committed against a person’s family or household members.

Understanding Protective Orders

One of the unique aspects of Norfolk domestic violence cases are different types of protective orders. There are emergency protective orders, preliminary protective orders, and protective orders. Emergency protective orders are secured in a magistrate the day of such an incident, even on a weekend. The protective order will prevent the accused person from having hostile contacts with an injured party. That means that they cannot have any contact, such as personal contact or contact with a third party.

No hostile contact means that there can be contact between the accused person and the injured party, but there cannot be any threats or acts of violence directed towards the injured party.

Penalties for Violating a Protective Order

The first violation for a protective order is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. A second violation of a protective order that occurs within five years is still a Class 1 misdemeanor but carries within a mandatory 60-day sentence.

A third violation of a protective order that occurs in a 20-year period is punishable as a Class 6 felony. This means the maximum sentence can be up to five years and the conviction of a third violation for a protective order within 20 years carries a six-month mandatory minimum.

Consequences of a Conviction

A first-offense conviction of assault and battery on a family member is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If under a plea of not guilty, no contest, or guilty, the court can enter the first finding of guilt and suspend any hearings for a year. If the accused did not commit any offenses, then this crime will be dismissed after the year is out. However, if they are convicted with a misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail or a $2,500.00 fine. If a person is convicted a third time of assault and battery on a family member, then that is Class 6 felony, punishable up to five years in prison.

Let a Domestic Violence Attorney Help

A person’s life can change after they have been accused of domestic assault. If law enforcement receives complaints of the domestic assault, their duty is to investigate the case thoroughly and charge one of the parties if the charges are credible. Domestic assault charges are taken very seriously in Norfolk.

They can be subject to protective orders. Protective orders prevent the charged individual from having contact with the injured party or those who are related to the injured party. Violation of protective orders is a Class 1 misdemeanor and eventually can be a felony. Additionally, if the allegations involve children, the minors can be removed under an emergency order in the event of such domestic disturbance.

Since there are many unique aspects of Norfolk domestic violence cases, it is best to seek help from an attorney as soon as possible. They could investigate the accusation and help you build a defense. Call today to schedule a consultation.