Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Differences between assault and domestic violence in Virginia is going to be defined by the relationship between the alleged attacker and the alleged victim. If a special relationship exists, that is going to be a domestic assault and battery versus just a regular assault and battery. Special relationships can include people who cohabitate, people who are married or have some legal affiliation common law marriages or certainly actual marriages and people who have children in common.
Assault in Virginia is going to be the imminent fear of unwanted touching or unwanted physical contact. It could be an unwanted bodily injury or it could be imminent fear of unwanted physical contact or death.
If you are facing charges of assault and domestic violence in Virginia, an experienced Virginia domestic violence lawyer can advise you on your case and clarify the differences between assault and domestic violence as they pertain to your specific case.
Domestic violence is the umbrella word for any assault and battery or other situations that happen between household members. An individual would never be charged with simple assault and domestic violence; they would be charged with domestic assault and battery.
The defense strategy is exactly the same for assault and domestic violence in Virginia because it is the literally the same crime. It is the same definition, the same thing; they need the unwanted touching or imminent fear of unwanted touching. The only difference is going to be the fact that the court considers the individual to be more of a danger to the victim if they are in juvenile and domestic relations court.
Between assault and domestic violence in Virginia, cases are in two different courts because they are treated separately. Differences between assault and domestic violence in Virginia are treated like a special relationship. However, the charges are much more serious if the charges are in a domestic case. In theory, it is harder to get away from somebody who lives with an individual or who is related to them than a stranger. It is almost like a protected class of victims and that is why it gets put into a different court.
Although differences between assault and domestic violence are treated differently, they are considered the same charge. It is the same action but the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator is what puts the charges in a different court. Assault and battery are going to be heard in general district court. Domestic assault and battery are going to be heard in juvenile and domestic relations court.
Family, again, is defined by the relationship between two people, or if an individual and another individual is cohabitating, that would be the household member. Assault and battery are the same definitions but if an individual and another individual live together or if they are related, it is going to be domestic.
The penalties differ between assault and domestic violence in Virginia if there are things like protective orders attached. Domestic violence cases usually include protective orders, unlike assault cases. The penalties otherwise are going to be the same unless there is some type of relationship that aggravates the penalties. If it is a child that is the victim and is under a certain age, for example, that is one of them. In addition to that, there is not going to be any separate penalty.
Differences between assault and domestic violence charges in Virginia include the severity of consequences after the case. Domestic violence charges have a bigger, long-term impact because of the fact that there is usually a protective order associated with them. An individual will financially be out of a lot of money if they have to continue to pay rent on a place that they are not allowed to live in and continue to pay for utilities that they are not allowed to live in.
An individual will not see their children if they are part of the protective order. They might have to give up their job depending on what it is. Certain domestic violence penalties include not being able to carry a firearm. It just depends on what charge an individual is specifically charged with and what the conditions of the protective order are.