No one in Mecklenburg County would profess to be in favor of domestic violence, so politicians feel free to pass strict laws aimed to protect victims. However, the procedural rules as they are often enforced in domestic violence cases may infringe on the rights of the person accused. Moreover, the mere presence of allegations can cause difficulties with employment and personal relationships.
Because of the delicate nature of domestic violence cases, anyone who is accused or who may face charges should consider consulting a Mecklenburg County domestic violence lawyer for advice as soon as possible.
Domestic violence is not a specific crime but refers to certain crimes when they are committed between people in a domestic relationship as defined by state law. Specifically, domestic violence involves violence among “family or household members” as defined in Va. Code §16.1-228. These include:
In some situations, the individuals must live in the same residence to be part of a qualified domestic relationship, but in other cases, such as with spouses, the relationship is sufficient even if the parties never co-habited. A knowledgeable Mecklenburg County domestic violence lawyer could evaluate a relationship to determine whether it meets the statutory standard.
As part of the process to protect those who may be at risk from domestic violence, courts frequently issue protective orders.
Under Va. Code § 16.1-279.1, protective orders may include provisions that prohibit contact with the alleged victims. Protective orders may also grant the party who sought the protection the right to live in the home and to exclude the other party from the home, and the sole right to use a car and cell phone even if it jointly owned.
Anticipating acts of retaliation, the law prohibits the excluded party from shutting off utilities or cancelling cell phone service. The law even specifies that a protective order may grant the person seeking the order sole possession of the family pet.
Trying to comply with the terms of a protective order can be extremely challenging, and it is possible to violate the terms unintentionally. For instance, a post on social media could be interpreted to violate provisions restricting contact between the parties.
Violation of a protective order is a separate serious offense. So, anyone dealing with a protective order would be wise to consult a domestic violence lawyer in Mecklenburg County who can help ensure that they understand how to comply with the terms to avoid additional negative consequences. An attorney may be able to negotiate terms that are less burdensome.
Allegations of domestic violence can throw your life into a tailspin. In their zeal to protect victims of domestic violence, lawmakers have made it very difficult for those accused to continue with their lives, almost as if they are treated as guilty before being proven innocent.
If you are facing charges related to family abuse, it is important to understand how to protect your rights and the actions to avoid that can jeopardize your case and result in additional penalties. An experienced Mecklenburg County domestic violence lawyer could provide guidance to navigate you through the difficulties and fight to get your life back. To get started, call now for a free consultation.
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