If you have ever been involved in domestic violence, you need a good domestic violence lawyer in Arlington, VA. Domestic violence is usually defined as a violence that occurs within the family or household. Virginia courts take domestic violence charges very seriously, and you need to make sure you are represented by a competent domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA to ensure your rights are protected.
Domestic violence is considered a crime and is not to be taken lightly. It is a serious offense, and if you are falsely accused of domestic violence, you deserve to be protected. However, being charged with a crime can quickly become complicated and confusing to you. At May Law, LLP, we answer some commonly asked questions concerning domestic violence and the criminal law process.
What is defined as domestic violence?
Domestic violence is the act of a family member committing assault and/or battery against another family member. This is a broad category and can include anything from a spousal relationship to people related by marriage, and even former partners.
There are plenty of examples of domestic violence. Alleged offenses can include:
- Violation of a protection order
- Psychological and mental abuse
- Economic abuse
If you are accused of domestic violence but do not believe your situation relates to domestic violence, do not hesitate to contact a domestic violence lawyer in Arlington, Virginia from May Law, LLP so we can advise you.
One of the most common charges of violence in Virginia is assault and battery. An experienced domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA relies on knows that the Virginia Code has a special section dealing with allegations of assault on a spouse or family member. While an alleged assault and battery on a stranger will end up in the General District Court, an allegation of assault and battery on a spouse or family member will go to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Although the prosecutor’s burden is similar in either case, a good domestic violence lawyer in Arlington, VA understands that there are some tools in the Virginia Code with respect to alleged family violence that could be beneficial to your defense. So, if you are charged with domestic violence, be sure to speak to a domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA counts on as soon as possible.
In Virginia, if you are convicted of domestic violence against a family member, you could spend as much as a year in jail and pay up to a $2,500 fine depending on the facts and circumstances. The stakes are incredibly high, and a domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA counts on is essential to protecting your interests. For example, maybe you have been wrongfully accused. Maybe you were defending yourself from attack and still got charged. Or, maybe you made a mistake and need someone to help you navigate an extremely stressful situation. In any of these situations, an Arlington domestic violence lawyer is essential.
Is domestic violence categorized as its own specific crime?
Yes. In most states domestic violence is categorized as its own crime, under the umbrella legal term of criminal assault and battery. However, since domestic abusers take advantage of their victim’s confidence and safety in their own home, the penalties tend to be much harsher than other criminal assault cases.
Is domestic violence a felony or a misdemeanor?
This depends on the seriousness of the incident.
The following are examples of a felony charge:
- Violence against a child
- Violence that caused severe physical harm including death
- Acts with a deadly weapon
- Sexual acts
- If it is the second or third time a misdemeanor charge is brought against the same assailant
The following are examples of a misdemeanor charge:
- Simple assault or battery
- Verbal abuse
- Fighting between two adults
In addition to criminal charges, alleged domestic violence can also lead to the court’s issuance of a civil protective order. An experienced domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA trusts has handled protective order cases frequently. This is different than the criminal process because there is no possible jail time involved. However, the stakes are still incredibly high because a civil protective order might keep you from having any contact with your spouse or family members for up to two years. It can also impact future custody, your work situation, security clearance, and other areas outside the courtroom.
So, even if you are not charged with a crime and you are only involved in protective order proceedings, it is still advisable to be represented by a good domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA. Moreover, if you are the victim of domestic violence and want the court to issue a protective order against the person who attacked you, it is similarly advisable to have a good domestic violence lawyer Arlington, VA. A prosecutor will assist the alleged victim in a criminal case, but both the alleged victim and the alleged attacker need their own attorneys for a civil protective order case as the court will not provide them.
What if I was acting in self-defense?
In many cases, a person who was being accused of domestic violence was actually someone who as defending themselves against a spouse or partner who was trying to hurt them or trying to hurt another family member. If this is similar to what you are going through, know that you have every right to protect yourself and that you should not be punished for self defense.
If you have been involved in any issue involving domestic violence, or if you have any additional questions about domestic violence or the charges brought against you, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers today with any questions. Please contact May Law, LLP today to speak to a domestic violence lawyer in Arlington, VA!