What You Should Know About Domestic Assault Felonies in Virginia
November 7, 2020
Domestic violence charges in the state of Virginia are taken very seriously. It doesn’t matter if the assault is spouse on spouse, child on parent, or boyfriend/girlfriend situations where people are living together under the same roof. Anyone found physically or sexually assaulting someone they live with is considered a domestic violence case, and the punishments are extreme.
Differences Between Assault Charges and Domestic Violence Assaults as Defined by Virginia Law
Ask any domestic assault lawyer Arlington County, domestic assault lawyer Loudoun County, or domestic assault lawyer Fairfax County and they can tell you that there’s a fence between assault charges and domestic assault charges. Assault & Battery usually refers to physical attacks by an assailant not living with you and/or not a family member.
Domestic violence is an incident of assault on your person by someone who is either a family or household member as defined by Virginia Code § 16.1-228 This connection and familiarity often makes domestic violence very dangerous for the parties involved as well as police responding to such a call due to these situations being inherently emotionally charged.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Cases
A first or second offense of domestic assault within a 20-year period is punishable as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, a third offense of any combination of assault crimes against a family member (assault & battery, malicious wounding, unlawful wounding, aggravated malicious wounding, strangulation, etc.) within a 20-year period is treated as a Felony. Apart from the statutory penalties, persons found guilty of domestic assault lose the right under Virginia law to own a firearm. They also may be subject of a protective order and other special conditions imposed by the Court (counseling, anger management, etc.)
Burden of Proof
As with all serious criminal offenses, the burden of proof in a domestic assault case falls on the prosecution. Most of the time, the police who respond to a domestic assault do not witness any of the alleged event. This is why it is very important to not make any statements to the police without your domestic assault lawyer Fairfax County present. Remember that the prosecution must prove all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Often times the easiest way to accomplish this is through confessions, which is why it is best for you to wait for your lawyer to be present before answering any questions if you are accused of such an offense.
Understanding Your Position and Who to Hire in Virginia for Your Domestic Violence Case
If you are a victim of a domestic assault, you can find more information on what to do next by consulting a domestic assault attorney Arlington County, a domestic assault attorney Fairfax County, or a domestic assault attorney Loudoun County. The attorney at Rudolphi Law has experience helping victims of domestic assault navigate their situations and liaise with the prosecutor’s office.
If you are charged with domestic assault, you will need a Fairfax criminal attorney to set things right. An attorney at Rudolphi Law can help you get out from under this life-devastating mess and get your life back on track.