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Leesburg Domestic Violence Lawyer

Allegations that involve domestic violence can be some of the most emotionally trying and confusing. An instance of alleged violence or intimidation targeted at a household member could result in harm to the family unit beyond the criminal courts. Of course, you will also need to take actions to protect your rights in a Leesburg courtroom.

There is no criminal offense known as “domestic violence” in the Commonwealth’s laws. Instead, an instance of domestic violence is a criminal act committed against a household member. In addition, some allegations of violence become more serious because of the identity of the alleged victim.

A Leesburg domestic violence lawyer could help you fight for your rights after allegations of domestic violence. A skilled criminal law attorney could help defeat the criminal accusations at the core of the matter. They can also work to dispute the need for any restrictive restraining orders.

When an Offense Becomes one Involving Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not a crime listed in the Commonwealth’s criminal code. Instead, the concept of domestic violence describes a criminal act committed against a certain type of person.

According to VA Code §16.1-228, domestic violence is an incident of violence or intimidation committed against a family or household member. The same statute goes on to define a family or household member as:

  • the person’s spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person,
  • the person’s former spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person,
  • the person’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether such persons reside in the same home with the person,
  • the person’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who reside in the same home with the person,
  • any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together at any time, or
  • any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person.

A Leesburg domestic violence attorney could help defendants understand how the Commonwealth defines domestic violence and how it applies to their case.

The Consequences of a Court Labelling a Case as Domestic Violence

The court marking a charge as one involving domestic violence in Leesburg is a serious matter. This is because of the sweeping powers of judges under Commonwealth law to issue protective orders following the filing of charges.

Under VA Code §16.1-253.4, the magistrate judge can issue an emergency protective order if there is probable cause to believe that the alleged victim is still at risk of harm. These orders can require a defendant to cease all contact with not just the alleged victim but also shared children or even pets. This often results in a defendant being forced to move out of a family home.

The court will reconsider these orders after three days. A domestic violence lawyer in Leesburg could help defendants to argue for the rescinding of any protective order to establish some level or normalcy while awaiting a resolution to the case.

The Criminal Charges at the Core of the Case

As mentioned above, a court cannot simply charge a defendant with domestic violence. Instead, there must be some other criminal offense at the center of the case. These offenses are generally those that involve the infliction of physical or mental trauma or those that include an intent to do so. Common examples include assault, stalking, criminal threatening, and sexual abuse.

Of course, defeating these charges should be the primary concern for any defendant. A knowledgeable attorney in Leesburg who has experience with domestic violence cases could help develop a defense that is designed to defeat a prosecutor’s case in court. This is especially important in domestic violence cases as a conviction could not only bring a harsh jail sentence but could see any protective orders become permanent.

Let a Leesburg Domestic Violence Attorney Assist You

The mere accusation of domestic violence can throw your life into chaos. A judge has the power to grant emergency protective orders that prevent you from contacting the alleged victim and may impact where you can live or if you can see your children. These orders are common in domestic violence cases and may become permanent upon conviction.

It is essential that you take immediate action to protect your future. Hiring a compassionate attorney could help provide this protection, and they could argue against protective orders prior to trial and prepare a defense that could create reasonable doubt in the minds of juries. Contact a Leesburg domestic violence lawyer today to see how they could work for you.

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