Manassas Domestic Assault Lawyer
In general, domestic assault refers to an assault or battery committed by one individual against a family or household member. Under Virginia law, family or household member is relatively broad, including spouses, children, and cohabitants (both traditional and same-sex partners), as well as parents who share a biological child.
Domestic assault cases can be sensitive and have serious repercussions, so someone facing charges should not go through their case without the help of a skilled defense attorney. An experienced domestic assault lawyer in Manassas can help someone to build a solid defense, and receive a positive outcome in their case.
- Building a Defense
- Penalties & Sentencing
- Protective Orders
- Differences Between Assault and Domestic Assault
Duty of Law Enforcement
In Manassas, if an individual summons the police to a domestic violence scenario, the responding officer must investigate the scenario, determine the primary aggressor, and charge the primary aggressor with domestic assault. This means that, if an officer has sufficient evidence to determine the primary aggressor, they must arrest that individual. In this way, the responding officer has little discretion in making a determination as to whether to arrest the individual they have determined to be the primary aggressor.
If an individual is accused of domestic assault, they will be charged with domestic assault. Such a charge may only be resolved by plea agreement or trial. After an individual has been charged with domestic assault, they must attend an arraignment, a court appearance at which a judge will advise the individual of the crime with which they have been charged. If the individual chooses not to enter a plea agreement, their case will be set for trial.
Domestic assault is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, the consequences of which include possible incarceration of up to one year and a fine of $2,500. However, it is important to note that lesser punishments are available for individuals with no prior domestic assault convictions, including probation without incarceration. A Manassas domestic assault attorney will be essential in trying to mitigate these penalties.
Impact on Custody and Visitation
Domestic assault and battery convictions may impact child custody or visitation. While the specific impact is dependent on the individual case, an individual who has been charged with domestic assault can expect that a conviction for such a charge will have a negative impact on their ability to retain custody or control visitation.
Working with an Attorney
A Manassas domestic assault attorney can be an essential asset in a domestic assault case. At the onset of the case, an attorney can walk the charged individual through the allegations, charge, and judicial process. This demystifies the process, helping the charged individual to know what to do and what to expect. Moreover, such an attorney can explain the potential outcomes of the case and advise their client regarding the best strategies for defending against the charges they face. Most importantly, throughout the entire judicial process, from charge to sentence, an experienced domestic assault lawyer in Manassas can work to do everything possible to have their client’s charges reduced, or even dismissed.