Domestic violence charges are common and can be very difficult to fight. If you have arrested by law enforcement after a 911 call to your residence, and you are accused of being abusive to your loved ones, you will be facing heavy penalties for what is known as assault and battery on a family member or household member under Virginia Code 18.2-57.2.
In this situation, your chances for avoiding or minimizing penalties will best be helped with the services of a criminal defense attorney in your area who has experience with such charges. If this has happened to you in Fredericksburg, please contact me, Andrew J. Cornick, Attorney at Law. My firm is totally dedicated to criminal defense; I have sixteen years of experience fighting for clients throughout Virginia in even the most complex cases.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Virginia?
In our Commonwealth, domestic violence or family abuses involves any type of act where force, violence, or threat is used against a household/family member. These are acts that could cause injury or death or put the victim in fear of his or her imminent danger.
Household or family members can include:
- Spouses and ex-spouses
- Parents and stepparents
- Children and stepchildren
- Unmarried parents
- Someone who otherwise might not qualify but with whom you cohabited (lived together as a couple) within the last 12 months
Examples of assault and battery can include such actions as punching, hitting, pushing, slapping, beating, shaking, and any other action that could injure or harm, or even otherwise harmless touching that is considered offensive. Threats against another without actually making physical contact with the victim can also be deemed assault if they put the victim in fear of imminent harm. Imminent harm means that the victim felt the harm could be done right away. Threats made through electronic means, such as via the phone, would likely not fall under the definition of “imminent.”
Assault and battery against a family/household member in a first offense are charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. It carries penalties of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. You may also be placed on probation and required to complete a program of treatment or counseling. You will also typically be subject to a protective order issued by the court that prohibits any future family abuse, from contacting your accuser or other family members, that orders you to vacate you the residence you shared where the offense was committed, that orders you to grant your accuser use of a family vehicle, as well as any other conditions the court finds necessary.
In any repeat offenses, the penalties will increase. Any conviction for assault & battery of a household member can disqualify you from ever again possessing a firearm.
Bring Your Case to Andrew J. Cornick, Attorney at Law
At my firm, I have the experience you need to help you fight for a favorable outcome, to ensure that your case avoids any unnecessary pitfalls, and that will provide the guidance you need throughout every phase of your case. As a former prosecutor, I know how the other side will work to attempt to convict you and can take proper measures on your behalf. In any domestic violence situation, you should call me as soon as possible so that I can begin protecting your legal rights from the outset.
Reach out to my firm at (540) 827-4446 to schedule a free consultation today.