Amelia County Domestic Violence Lawyer

Being accused of domestic violence poses the potential for criminal consequences as well as damage to your reputation. Hiring an Amelia County domestic violence lawyer could help someone accused of this serious crime to fight back with a defense strategy.

The sooner that an accused individual can take action by hiring legal counsel, the easier it will be to understand the steps involved in defending against such a claim.

Statutes Regarding Domestic Violence Charges

In Virginia, domestic violence criminal charges are outlined under the Code of Virginia Title 18.2-57.2, also referred to as assault and battery against a family or household member.

Domestic violence is defined as any act involving force, threat, or violence that puts a person in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or leads to physical injury. In order to qualify as a domestic violence crime, the alleged act must involve the accused’s household or family member.

Family or Household Members Under Domestic Violence Laws

Whether or not an alleged crime is classified as domestic violence or assault depends on whether the victim is a family or household member. As an Amelia County domestic abuse attorney knows, the following people qualify as domestic violence victims:

  • Current or former spouses, no matter what their current residence is
  • Persons who have a child in common
  • Cohabitants of a home or in-laws who live in the same residence
  • Those who have lived together in the past year and their children

Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges

A person accused and convicted of domestic charges might face different penalties depending on whether not a prior record or history of abuse exists. Some level of discretion is afforded during the process of charging a domestic violence crime. Most frequently, domestic assault and battery against a household or family member are charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. This means fines of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail.

Multiple previous convictions on the record for the accused person, however, could lead to this crime being charged as a Class 6 felony. Felony charges could carry between one and five years in prison or up to 12 months in jail. Fines for felony-level charges could be as high as $2,500. An Amelia County criminal defense lawyer could help to break down the possible penalties for an accused party after getting involved in the case.

When to Hire an Amelia County Domestic Violence Attorney

Shortly after a person has been accused of a crime that could affect their freedom, future or even their ability to see their children in a related child custody case, an Amelia County domestic violence lawyer could be contacted to begin to work on a defense strategy. Anyone accused of this crime should be well aware of their rights and the possibilities in responding to pleas.

Even if you believe that this matter was blown out of proportion or that the victim will recant their claims, you must be prepared to hire a criminal defense attorney. An attorney could help you understand the impact of any charges against you and advise you about how to respond.