If you have been accused of household violence, you may be facing consequences that could negatively impact both your personal and professional relationships. A skilled McLean domestic violence lawyer could help minimize these potential penalties by building a case in your defense.
Cases involving household abuse often become emotionally charged. Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who could help you navigate the ups and downs of this tumultuous legal process. En Español.
Various crimes may constitute domestic violence offenses when they involve family or household members. Some crimes that involve domestic abuse may include:
In general, criminal offenses may qualify as domestic violence when they involve parties who fall within the statutory definition of a family or household member. Behaviors that cause or threaten physical harm to family or household members constitute domestic violence. A household abuse lawyer in McLean could help an individual build a defense based on the exact allegations against them.
Unlike some other jurisdictions, state law does not contain a separate criminal offense for domestic violence. Instead, an individual could be charged for various crimes in a domestic context when they involve specific family or household members.
Virginia Code §16.1-228 defines family or household members as individuals who have specified relationships with the accused, such as current or former spouses, grandparents, parents, children, and siblings. This definition also includes parents, siblings, or children who are related by marriage and who live in the same home as the accused individual. Additionally, family and household members encompass people who share a child, as well as parties who live together or have lived together within the last year.
In some cases, the type of relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim does not impact the penalties that an individual may receive for a criminal conviction. However, when a defendant accrues multiple domestic violence convictions, they may face harsher, more severe sanctions.
The level of charges and penalties for different criminal offenses vary according to their severity and the criminal history of the accused individual. For example, assault and battery of a household member is a Class 1 misdemeanor under state law. Individuals convicted of assault and battery may face up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
If, however, a defendant has been charged with two or more household abuse offenses in 20 years, they may face Class 6 felony charges. This felony charge also may be applicable if one or more of the offenses were similar in nature and occurred in another jurisdiction.
Class 6 felony convictions may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to five years. It is important to note that judges have the discretion to punish a defendant based on their misconduct and the nature of the case. In addition to potential incarceration, fines, and a criminal record, domestic violence charges can have collateral consequences.
For example, individuals with a domestic violence conviction on their records may experience challenges finding employment or housing, the issuance of a protective order, and an inability to see their children. Because these penalties can vary, it is crucial to retain a McLean domestic violence attorney who could fight on a defendant’s behalf.
Allegations of household violence can have long-term effects on an individual’s life. As a result, you should reach out to a well-practiced McLean domestic violence lawyer if a family member has accused you of abuse. To schedule an initial case consultation, call today.
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