Manassas Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence charges should be taken with the utmost seriousness, even if you know for certain that the allegations are completely unfounded. The penalties for domestic violence are incredibly harsh, and you could be facing months or years behind bars. And, if children are involved in your domestic relationship, you could potentially lose all of your parenting rights if you are found guilty of domestic violence. We strongly urge all domestic violence defendants to consult with a Manassas domestic violence attorney of Simms Showers LLP, as quickly as possible.
Who is Protected Under Virginia’s Domestic Violence Laws?
Domestic violence is called assault and battery against a family or household member under Virginia § 18.2-57.2. Assault is an “attempt or threat to inflict bodily injury upon another, accompanied by the apparent present ability to carry out the attempt” and battery is the “unlawful application of force” against another person that includes assault “and the actual use of force or violence in injuring another person.” As such, you do not actually need to injure another person to be charged with assault and battery. Throwing objects, attempting to hit or shove another person, or screaming and threatening that person can lead to a domestic violence charge, which is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500, not including much more serious civil penalties payable to the injured victim. Family or household members, according to Virginia § 16.1-228, include:
- The defendant’s spouse;
- The defendant’s former spouse;
- A person who has a child with the defendant;
- Any person who currently cohabits or cohabited with the defendant in the previous 12 months; and
- The defendant’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents, and grandchildren, regardless of whether or not the victim resides in the same dwelling as the defendant.
Not all Charges Lead to Convictions, But Other Consequences Can Arise
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Virginia’s law enforcement made 20,718 arrests for domestic violence in 2012, but only 26 percent of those charges became convictions. However, even if you are not convicted, there are serious issues that may arise in the meantime. For example, you can be arrested on charges of domestic violence without an arrest warrant if there is probable cause to believe that you have committed any type of domestic violence. Or, a protective or restraining order may be placed on you without any chance for you to respond or appear in court. Whether you are convicted of domestic violence or not, your good standing in the community, employment, and relationships could all be jeopardized by not taking swift and immediate legal action to defend yourself.
Contact an Experienced Manassas Domestic Violence Attorney Today
If you have been arrested for domestic violence or have had a restraining order placed on you, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced attorney immediately. The Manassas domestic violence defense attorneys, of Simms Showers LLP, including lead attorney Caleb Kershner, offer professional defense of domestic violence charges and aggressively advocate for our clients’ rights both in and out of Virginia courts.