Leesburg Domestic Violence Attorney
An arrest and prosecution for domestic violence is in many ways more serious than other offenses. The penalties for domestic violence may go far beyond the typical criminal consequences of fines or jail time that can result from a conviction of assault and battery or another violent offense. Leesburg domestic violence defense attorney Caleb Kershner and the legal team at Simms Showers, LLP provide a strong and effective defense to domestic violence charges to help keep you out of jail and free from the numerous other penalties and costs of a Virginia domestic violence conviction.
Virginia Domestic Violence Law
Virginia domestic violence law is broadly written to include physical violence as well as threats against a family member or member of the household. Further, Virginia law uses a broad definition of family and household members to include current and former spouses, current or former boyfriends and girlfriends who live/lived together in the past year, and people who had a child together, as well as parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws living in the house.
Domestic violence in Virginia has both civil and criminal components, and in many respects the rights of the accused are not as strong as they are in other areas of criminal law. For instance, a person can be arrested without an arrest warrant if there is probable cause to believe the person has committed an act of domestic violence. Also, a restraining order or protective order can be issued against the accused even without any prior notice to the defendant or a chance to appear in court and challenge the order.
A hearing on a final protective order may take place within 15 days, but it can be as long as six months before such a hearing is held. Meanwhile, the preliminary protective order can be used to kick a person out of the house and grant temporary possession of the home and car to the alleged victim. The court can also order the defendant to pay support while at the same time being prohibited from having any contact with his or her family. You could also be ordered into treatment under a protective order or forced to give up other rights and privileges.
Felony Domestic Violence
A domestic violence felony charge could be pressed in an alleged battery where the defendant has a prior conviction for assault and battery or malicious wounding (including aggravated malicious wounding) against a family member or member of the household. Malicious felony assault and malicious bodily wounding are both strike offenses, so if you are charged with one of these crimes in a domestic violence situation, it is important to know how a conviction could affect you under Virginia’s three strikes law.
Get Help Now with Domestic Violence Charges in Loudoun County
In addition to criminal penalties including jail time, an arrest and conviction for domestic violence, assault or family abuse could impact you in a divorce and destroy your chances to share in child custody, or force you to pay a higher amount of spousal support/alimony. It can even affect the division of property when the other party has already been granted possession of the home or car for an extended period. With all that is at stake, any allegation of domestic violence, even if alleged in the heat of an argument or as a way to “get at” the other person, should be taken very seriously. While domestic violence is a serious problem, there are many ways in which charges may be based on misunderstandings or improper motives, and there may be defenses available to fight the charges against you. If you have been arrested for a domestic violence matter in Leesburg, Loudoun County or northern Virginia, contact Caleb Kershner in Leesburg for a free consultation with an experienced Leesburg domestic violence defense attorney.