Divorce and marital discord are extremely difficult situations to deal with, and there are times when fights escalate beyond the typical confines of an argument or disagreement. If you are facing a recent domestic violence charge, an attorney can meet with you in a non-judgmental way to discuss your situation. Charges related to domestic violence are quite serious and can remain on your record permanently, affecting your ability to get a job or apply for school.
Domestic Violence Laws in Virginia
Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-57.2, domestic violence is defined as assault or battery against any family or household member. The term “family or household member” includes any of the following individuals:
- Spouse, whether or not he or she lives in the same house with the alleged abuser.
- Former spouse, whether or not he or she lives in the same house with the alleged abuser.
- Parents, step-parents, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren.
- Children and step-children.
- Alleged abuser’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law (must reside in the same home).
- Any individual who has a child in common with the alleged abuser.
- Any person that cohabits with the alleged abuser or cohabited in the previous 12 months.
Your attorney will work diligently to achieve the lowest possible penalty for your case, which will be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. This charge carries a possible jail sentence of up to 12 months and a possible fine of up to $2,500. However, if you have received at least two other convictions of domestic violence or malicious wounding, your third charge could result in the conviction of a Class 6 felony, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 5 years and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Don’t Risk Your Rights—Call an Attorney Today
For more information about domestic violence charges and the penalties associated with them, our attorneys can help. Contact Smith Strong by calling 804.325.1245 (Richmond) or Williamsburg (757.941.4298).