Domestic violence cases can have serious penalties in Manassas. A person who has been charged with domestic assault should immediately contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer. There are proactive steps that such an attorney can assist them in taking that may positively affect the outcome of their case.
There are a number of common mistakes that an individual may make that hold the potential to negatively affect the outcome of their Manassas domestic violence case that such an attorney can help them to avoid. The advice of a skilled attorney from the outset of a domestic violence case can be critical in mitigating potential penalties. This can be achieved by collecting the proper evidence, a and putting together a strong defense that refutes the proof the prosecution has against the defendant.
In order for an individual to be charged with and convicted of domestic violence in Manassas, the prosecution must first prove that the alleged victim is a family member, domestic partner, or household member of the accused.
Next, the prosecution must prove that the accused touched the alleged victim in an unwanted manner with the intent to do harm, or threatened to do so. If the prosecution can prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will be convicted of domestic violence.
Domestic assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum potential penalties for domestic assault in Manassas include incarceration for a period of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500. However, the penalties for domestic violence more commonly also include alternative programs, such as probation, anger management, or other similar services of the court.
Probation is a likely penalty when it is a first offense case of domestic violence in Manassas. In many cases, when it is a first offense and the domestic violence has no additional aggravating factors, the court considers an alternative sentencing plan in which the person attends an anger management program and completes community service. After two years, if the individual remains out of trouble and properly completes the alternative sentencing, the case could later be dismissed.
Enhanced penalties would only arise if the domestic violence or the battery rose to the level that the crime in question was considered more than a simple assault or battery, such as unlawful wounding. Under such circumstances, the accused may be charged with a felony, rather than a simple misdemeanor. However, in a standard Virginia misdemeanor domestic violence case, there are no penalty enhancements or mandatory minimum sentences.
A protective order can affect the potential penalties in a domestic violence case in Manassas in the sense that, if the two are happening at the same time or being heard together, then there may exist a greater chance that the accused will receive a more strict penalty upon conviction if they violate the stipulations of their protective order during the course of the case.
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