Fairfax Domestic Violence Lawyer

sometimes in a domestic violence case they need to dust for fingerprints Domestic violence laws in Virginia describe a pattern of behavior, the consequences for which are extremely serious and, in most cases, life-changing. Being arrested for any crime can land a defendant in hot water not only with prosecutors who are out for blood but also with friends and family. It can dramatically alter a person’s career outlook because employers will be less likely to hire someone convicted of a serious crime. This is especially true for anyone accused of domestic violence, whether a defendant is proven innocent or not.

It is always smart to search for a lawyer with extensive knowledge of the legal system and a proven record for successfully defending clients from these charges. A Fairfax criminal defense lawyer can help you fight any charges made at the time of arrest, and investigate the circumstances that led to your arrest. Do not gamble away the rest of your life. You need a lawyer.

What Do Domestic Violence Charges Mean?

Domestic violence is defined by Virginia law as a threat or act of violence that involves a member of the household. Domestic violence charges are most often made after a family member has sustained an injury, but a person can also be charged if a member of the household was threatened to such an extent that he or she felt that physical harm was imminent.

What is a household member? The definition is broad. A household member might be a person’s spouse, ex-spouse, children, in-laws, or anyone else who resides in the same space.

Domestic violence is usually described as a pattern of behavior during which an individual attempts to control or subjugate another member (or members) of the same household. The aggressor almost always uses physical or psychological means to achieve the level of desired control.

A defendant is usually charged with “assault and battery against a family or household member.”

What Are The Penalties Of Domestic Violence Charges in Fairfax County?

Class 1 Misdemeanor. A defendant is subject to this penalty after committing assault and battery against a family or household member. The defendant is subject to a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. This penalty is comparable with typical assault and battery charges.

Class 6 Felony. A defendant is subject to this penalty after committing assault and battery against a family member after at least three related convictions in ten years. The defendant is subject to a sentence of one to five years imprisonment and up to $2,500 in fines.

In addition to these criminal penalties, a defendant might be subject to civil litigation, in which case the victim of domestic violence can recover any financial losses incurred due to medical bills. Damages for pain and suffering can also be recovered. In addition, the victim is much more likely to be granted child custody.

If a protective order has been granted by the Virginia court system prior to the offense of assault and battery against a family member, then the defendant will likely be charged with an additional Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for violating a protective order for a second time includes a mandatory minimum jail sentence of no fewer than 60 days.

Common Domestic Violence Defenses

There are a number of ways in which a Fairfax criminal defense attorney can help defend against domestic violence charges. In most cases, a hearing is held within ten days of a domestic violence complaint. If a defendant has not yet been charged, then legal counsel might request a continuance in order to gain more time to prepare a robust defense.

A defendant must have exhibited a specific type of behavior, and if a defendant has yet to reveal any such behavior to the arresting officers, then the prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the behavior took place.

Types of behavior include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Homicide
  • Burglary
  • Trespassing
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping

If the appropriate standard of proof is not met, then a judge may opt to dismiss the case. If the case is not dismissed outright, then a defendant’s legal counsel has at least two options.

Self-defense. If the victim sustained injuries only because the defendant fought back when assaulted or battered, then self-defense is the appropriate defense.

De minimis. A de minimis defense means that the supposed act of domestic violence was too minor to fall under the purview of criminal law. Should this defense work, the defendant will consequently be vulnerable to civil litigation. The idea behind a de minimis defense is that criminal prosecution should only occur as a last resort.

Call A Fairfax Domestic Violence Attorney Now!

One call can mean the difference between a lengthy prison sentence and no jail time at all. One call can mean the difference between heavy fines and none at all. A qualified Fairfax lawyer with extensive knowledge of the legal system can help you protect and preserve your rights as an American citizen residing in Virginia against prosecutorial overreach. Our Fairfax, VA Law Firm has worked to defend our clients for years at both the state and federal level. If you were arrested and charged with a crime, contact a Fairfax lawyer now!