If you are charged with any form of family violence in Fairfax or anywhere else in Virginia, you could be facing serious consequences and can benefit from the services of an experienced Fairfax domestic violence lawyer. The attorneys at our firm can mount an aggressive defense on your behalf and ensure that you receive the advocacy you deserve in your time of need. Contact a defense lawyer today.
As soon as you are charged with domestic violence or are served with a protective order, the first thing you should do is to call a Fairfax lawyer. After that, you can take the following steps to help your defense attorney construct a strong case:
When you decide to work with a domestic abuse attorney from our firm, he or she will investigate your case thoroughly, using any information you can provide as well as utilizing outside resources. Our attorneys in Fairfax understand how difficult domestic violence charges can be, and we are committed to helping you lessen the impact of these charges on your personal and professional life.
In Virginia, it is crime to injure, attempt to injure or even threaten to injure a member of your family or household (Virginia Code Section 18.2-57.2). Any form of assaultive behavior toward a family member may be a crime in its own right, but if a perceived victim is a family or household member, there will most likely be a prosecution for the separate and distinct crime of domestic violence.
The persons sought to be protected by a protective order and against whom you may be restrained from having any contact with include: spouses, former spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, in-laws (who live in the same house), people who have children together, and people who live together or have lived together during the past year (Section 16.1-228). An attorney in Fairfax could help someone accused of domestic violence prepare a legal defense.
If an alleged act of domestic violence occurs, almost always a protective order is issued restraining the accused from having contact with various family members identified in the protective order. Once a protective order has been served upon a person, it becomes a crime to violate or disobey the specific terms of the protective order, which may involve a prohibition against even the slightest attempted communication with members of your family or household who are the subjects sought to be protected.
Violating a protective order is also contempt of court, a separate offense also punishable by time in jail or a fine (Sections 16.1-253.1, 16.1-279.1), making it important that a Fairfax domestic abuse lawyer is contacted.
Criminal charges are often filed against a person at the same time that a restraining order is sought. Domestic abuse and criminal complaints often both arise from the same incident. The courts treat them as separate proceedings: one civil, one criminal. They proceed on separate paths, and possibly in front of different judges.
Criminal charges require proof beyond a reasonable doubt; domestic violence restraining orders do not. Persons seeking a protective order need prove their case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means more likely than not.
The person who makes that determination is a single judge, not a jury. Things often move rapidly in domestic violence cases and the early intervention of an experienced Fairfax lawyer can be immeasurably valuable.
Assault and battery against a family member is also a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 (Sections 18.2-11 and 18.2-12). The third offense, after two or more previous convictions for assault and battery against a family member becomes a Class 6 felony punishable by up to one year in jail or one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 (Section 18.2-10). An attorney in Fairfax could help someone minimize or avoid the penalties for a domestic violence charge.
If you are charged with domestic abuse or served with a protective order, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Our team of Fairfax domestic violence lawyers will be able to tell you what to expect in court and prepare your case carefully. Call our legal team today to conduct your free initial consultation.
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