Hanover Domestic Violence Lawyer

Facing domestic violence charges can be frightening. A conviction can affect employment, professional opportunities, and even child custody, if relevant. Attempting to fight charges of domestic violence on your own can be both frustrating and overwhelming, and navigating the legal system can be confusing.

A Hanover domestic violence lawyer could help you navigate the legal system and fight for the best legal result possible. If you are facing charges, contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney today.

Domestic Violence Laws in Virginia

In Hanover, and throughout the entire state of Virginia, domestic violence offenses are categorized as crimes against the person, which are outlined in Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Domestic violence offenses are described as the commission of assault and battery against either a family member or a member of the household (see § 18.2-57.2 of the Code of Virginia). Acts constituting assault and battery against a family member include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Strangulation
  • Malicious wounding
  • Aggravated malicious wounding
  • Malicious bodily injury using a substance

Malicious wounding involves the deliberate stabbing, cutting, shooting, or other similar act of a family or household member with the intent to maim, disable, disfigure, or kill that individual (see § 18.2-51). Aggravated malicious wounding involves the same deliberate attempts to maim or kill, but results in severe injury to the other individual, including permanent physical impairment (see § 18.2-51.2).

Malicious bodily injury using a substance refers to the use of a caustic agent, such as acid, to inflict harm on a family or household member (see § 18.2-52). It can also involve the use of fire or an explosive to inflict harm.

Legal Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions

Committing simple assault and battery against a family member or against a member of the household is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a jail term of 12 months or less and a fine of $2,500 or less (see § 18.2-11). In some cases, the penalty for a first offense can be placement on community-based probation.

When domestic violence charges involve malicious wounding, aggravated malicious wounding, or malicious bodily injury using a substance, the criminal charge is elevated to a felony offense, which carries a more severe legal penalty.

Felony Charges

The offense of malicious wounding is a Class 3 felony, which is associated with a state prison term of 5-20 years and a fine of $100,00 or less if convicted (see § 18.2-10). The offense of aggravated malicious wounding is categorized as a Class 2 felony. The penalty for a conviction is a sentence of 20 years to life in a Virginia state prison and a fine of $100,000 or less (see § 18.2-10).

The offense of malicious bodily injury using a substance is also a felony, punishable by a state prison sentence of 5-30 years. The specific class of felony depends on whether the offense was malicious or only unlawful, but not malicious (see § 18.2-52).

Emergency protective orders can be issued by the court to protect the alleged victim in cases in which there is a reasonable belief that further acts of assault and/or battery will be committed by the accused. Violations of an emergency protective order can potentially result in additional criminal charges. A Hanover domestic violence lawyer could explain the laws on domestic violence in greater detail.

Let a Hanover Domestic Violence Attorney Assist

There are several reasons to call an experienced Hanover domestic violence lawyer. This is because there are several ways an attorney could provide assistance to a person facing domestic violence charges. A knowledgeable lawyer could answer any legal questions pertaining to the case, explain the possible penalties for a conviction, provide representation during all legal proceedings, and fight to attain the best possible legal outcome.

You do not have to fight domestic violence charges alone. Call a Hanover domestic violence lawyer today.