A Virginia domestic violence lawyer can provide legal representation as you face accusations. Your defense attorney can assist you in many important ways, from fighting against an order of protection to trying to get domestic violence charges dropped or fighting for a court to find you not guilty.
Accusations of domestic violence are not always true or accurate. They often arise in divorce and separation situations, or arise out of misunderstandings. A prosecutor has the burden of proving that a defendant violated laws against domestic violence and your attorney can work hard to try to help make sure the prosecutor is unsuccessful in making the case against you.
A domestic violence lawyer in Virginia can help you to argue in court that:
Choosing the right approach to responding to charges requires an understanding of the law applied to your particular situation. A Virginia domestic violence lawyer can help you to review the case against you, decide on a response to charges, and present arguments or evidence on your behalf.
Virginia Code Section 18.2-57.2 defines domestic violence to include unwanted physical contact against a household member. This can include not just hitting or pushing, but also throwing an object or striking a family member with an object. A first offense for domestic violence is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Maximum penalties include a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. A second offense may be prosecuted as a Class 6 felony and the potential penalty could range from a maximum sentence of a year in jail to a sentence of between one and five years imprisonment.
When domestic violence allegedly involves stabbing, shooting, or taking other malicious actions with intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, the prosecutor may press felony charges under Virginia Code Section 18.2-51. This offense is a Class 2 felony if permanent impairment occurs or a Class 3 felony otherwise. Potential penalties include 20 years imprisonment for a Class 3 felony and a possible life sentence for a Class 2 felony.
Prosecutors may be aggressive in pursuing domestic violence charges even when an alleged victim does not want the prosecutor to move forward. Domestic violence accusations can destroy families and you deserve to have an advocate fighting to protect your relationships and your future.
A Virginia domestic violence lawyer will be there to help you try to get charges dropped if the victim does not want to press charges or if there is insufficient evidence. If your case goes to court, your attorney can try to introduce reasonable doubt so a jury won’t convict. Your attorney can also look into whether you may be eligible for deferred disposition to avoid a criminal record, or for a favorable plea agreement that can lessen penalties or charges. Get help from an attorney as soon as you can to understand your defense options and make informed choices about your case.