Virginia Beach Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence is a crime against a family member. Family members are considered children, parents, spouses, siblings or housemates that have lived together within the past 12 months or someone that person has a child in common with. 

Domestic violence is a serious offense that can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. You could go to jail if convicted of domestic assault. Virginia Code Section 16.1-279.1 also establishes the rights of assault victims to obtain a protective order.

If a restraining order is obtained, you may be restricted from seeing your spouse or children and forced to leave your family home. You need to understand your rights and stand up for yourself if accused of domestic violence, a Virginia Beach domestic violence lawyer can help.

Domestic Violence Laws in Virginia Beach

Domestic Violence Lawyer in Virginia Beach VAThe Virginia Code establishes a specific criminal charge for domestic violence. You could also be charged with assault and battery or other crimes under the penal code. Examples of criminal charges that could arise from accusations of domestic violence include:

  • Assault and battery against a household member. This offense is a class 1 misdemeanor under Code Section 18.2-57.2. Penalties include up to one-year jail time and fines as high as $2,500. However, if you have two prior convictions a Virginia Beach domestic violence lawyer becomes even more important as you could be charged with a class 6 felony and face at least one year incarceration under Code Section 18.2-10.
  • Assault and battery. Code Section 18.2-57 outlines the general offense of assault and battery that does not require a special family relationship between the accused and the alleged victim. This offense is also a class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Shooting, stabbing, or intent to maim and kill. Code section 18.2-51 makes it a class 3 felony to maliciously and intentionally cause bodily injury using a weapon or by any other means. Violent instances of domestic assault can result in these charges, which carry a minimum penalty of five years’ incarceration. If the victim is permanently impaired by the act of violence, however, you could be charged with a class 2 felony and face 20 years to life in prison.
  • Stalking is a class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense according to Code Section 18.2-60.3, or a class 6 felony if you stalk the same person within five years of a prior conviction.

A prosecutor may pursue criminal charges against you even if the victim does not cooperate or does not wish for you to be charged with a crime. Code Section 18.2-57.2 also allows a law enforcement officer to arrest you without obtaining a warrant first if there is credible evidence that you committed assault against a family member. Domestic violence is taken very seriously, and every effort is made to protect the victim, so you can expect aggressive prosecution if there is evidence that you committed this crime.

What to Expect Following a Charge

Law enforcement has a duty to investigate thoroughly and to try and prevent any future violence by either party. If someone gets accused of domestic violence in Virginia Beach, they are likely going to be arrested and there is a protective order that is issued. Unlike normal assault charges, it is often accompanied by some protective order or temporary restraining order. Individuals should speak with a Virginia Beach domestic violence lawyer to prepare a strong defense. 

Laws Surrounding Protective Orders

The most used type of protective order is the one in which a person has a no contact order that says, the charged person cannot have any contact with the accuser. It is for either a set period of time or while this case is pending. 

Virginia Beach domestic violence lawyers know that a violation of a protective order is considered a criminal offense and that can actually trigger mandatory jail time depending on whether or not it is their first offense. 

Child Custody and Visitation After Conviction

If a person is charged with a crime of domestic violence, it can certainly impact their custody rights. That is something that judges take into consideration and it is not necessarily a bar that says they cannot see the individual’s child but if a custody motion is filed, that can be considered a fact of what is going on when determining custody. 

Finding a Virginia Beach Domestic Violence Lawyer

A Virginia Beach domestic violence lawyer will work hard to help you avoid conviction or reduce penalties associated with a conviction for domestic violence. He or she can help you to argue against a protective order or restraining order, negotiate a plea bargain, or to go to court and not guilty to domestic violence.

Merely being accused of domestic violence has significant consequences and can affect your family relationships, your reputation, and ongoing divorce or custody proceedings. To protect your rights, contact a Virginia Beach domestic violence lawyer for advice as soon as possible after you are accused.

Domestic violence crimes are significant offenses that can lead to jail time. It is important to speak with a distinguished attorney who who knows what the Commonwealth has to show, and can cross-examine people in a beneficial manner for the person they represent.