Fairfax Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are charged with any form of domestic 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 domestic violence lawyer in Fairfax today.
Working with a Fairfax Domestic Violence Attorney
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 domestic violence 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 Fairfax domestic violence lawyer 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 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.
Domestic Violence in Virginia
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).
Violating a Protective Order
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 violence lawyer is contacted.
Civil Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Criminal charges are often filed against a person at the same time that a restraining order is sought. The domestic violence 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 and the early intervention of an experienced Fairfax domestic violence lawyer can be immeasurably valuable.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
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).
Obtaining Experienced Legal Representation
If you are charged with domestic violence 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 out legal team today to conduct your free initial consultation.