Crimes of domestic violence are treated seriously in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Simply being accused of domestic violence can result in the loss of an individual’s reputation in the community. The consequences for a conviction are even worse, as it can result in a lifelong criminal record, loss of firearm possession rights, and possible incarceration.
Domestic violence defense cases are often factually complex and emotionally charged. We must recommend you seek the assistance of our Vienna domestic violence defense lawyers as soon as you can. Backed by our 25+ years of legal experience, we stand ready to hear your side of what happened and figure out the right approach to protect you, your rights, and your good name.
Please call us at (703) 291-3263 as soon as possible to begin.
Virginia Law About Domestic Violence
The Commonwealth of Virginia defines domestic violence as “an assault and battery against a family or household member.”
Under Virginia law, a family or household member is considered a:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Stepparent or stepchild
- Grandparent or grandchild
- Any individual that shares a child with the accused
- Any individual that has lived in the same household with the accused within the past year
Domestic Violence Charges & Potential Penalties
The Commonwealth of Virginia considers domestic violence to be a form of assault and battery. Physical contact is not necessary for an individual to be charged with domestic violence, though. Threats or intimidation are sufficient to warrant a charge of domestic violence.
Under Virginia law, domestic violence is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for a first offense carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine. Unlike regular assault and battery cases, the penalties for subsequent offenses increase. As such, an individual who is charged with domestic violence and who has two prior convictions within the past 20 years will be charged with a class 6 felony. An individual who is convicted of a third domestic violence charges faces a potential penalty of 5 years in prison and/or a $2,500.00 fine.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges in Vienna, Virginia
As with all criminal cases, an individual accused of domestic violence is presumed to be innocent. Or they should be. However, it is known that judges and juries have a subconscious inclination to believe the accuser over the alleged abuser. With two sides to each story and the intensely personal nature of domestic violence charges, building an effective defense is essential.
In a domestic violence case, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s case usually depends on the alleged victim’s testimony along with documentary evidence such as photographs or medical records. Many cases rise or fall on the credibility of the alleged victim. A careful review of the evidence is required to identify any inconsistencies with a victim’s statement. Further investigation of a victim’s background or the facts leading up to the alleged incident is necessary to identify possible bias or falsehoods put forth by the victim.
Choose Portner & Shure, P.A. for Your Domestic Violence Defense
For more than 25 years, we have been protecting the rights of people accused of domestic violence, including people who were accused by vicious ex-spouses who wanted nothing but to make their lives difficult. If you are in the same or a similar situation, then you cannot take the situation lightly. Team up with our Vienna domestic violence defense attorneys to begin working on a strong strategy with a law firm that really cares about your future and wellbeing.
Schedule your first consultation with us by dialing (703) 291-3263.
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