Hopewell Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence offenses are tricky to understand because they can come in a variety of forms. However, all accusations of domestic violence come with serious repercussions that go beyond just the fines and jail time that one could expect from a conviction – the collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction are far more severe than for other types of crimes.

That is why it is so important to call a Hopewell domestic violence lawyer if you have been accused of committing one of these offenses. With professional legal representation, you can fight the allegations and do all you can to prove your innocence.

Domestic Violence Involve an Underlying Offense

Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a crime of domestic violence in Hopewell. Instead, other crimes, like assault, battery, or reckless endangerment, become domestic violence offenses if they involve someone else with a particular relationship to the defendant. Some of the most common underlying crimes for a domestic violence allegation are:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Stalking
  • Harassment
  • Sexual assault

However, this is not a complete list. Other offenses can also lead to domestic violence charges, as well. Many of these are very serious allegations, making it critical to have a Hopewell domestic violence lawyer on hand to defend against the charges.

Types of Relationships Necessary for a Domestic Violence Charge

The types of relationships that are required for a criminal charge to become one of domestic violence are mentioned in Virginia Code § 18.2-57.2. Under this statute, if the defendant and the purported victim were in any of the following types of relationship, a criminal charge against the defendant will become a domestic violence offense:

  • Spouses or ex-spouses
  • Parents, siblings, or children, including half-siblings, stepchildren, stepsiblings, or stepparents
  • In-laws residing in the same place as the defendant
  • Parents of the same child
  • Cohabitants, including those who were cohabitating in the past year

Allegations of a criminal offense against any one of these types of people can lead to a criminal charge of domestic violence. If this charge becomes a conviction, it would come with a host of collateral consequences in addition to the penalties of the underlying offense. A Hopewell domestic violence lawyer can work to ensure that this never happens.

Collateral Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

There are two types of penalties after a criminal conviction: The statutory penalties – which include the fines, jail time, and other repercussions that are explicitly listed in the criminal statute – and the collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are those that are not listed in the statute, and so often go undetected and come as a surprise.

A conviction for a crime of domestic violence leads to some of the most widespread collateral consequences of any conviction in Hopewell. These collateral consequences can impact someone’s ability to rent an apartment, own a firearm, or even get a job in certain professions.

A Hopewell domestic violence attorney can alert defendants to the possibility and the variety of these hidden consequences of a conviction so they can better understand their rights and make informed decisions to protect their interests.

Call a Hopewell Domestic Violence Attorney Today

If you have been accused of committing a crime against a close relative or someone you live with, chances are that you will face charges of a crime of domestic violence. These offenses, if you are found guilty in a court of law, are more serious than the underlying offense and take a particular kind of attorney to effectively fight against them.

Calling a Hopewell domestic violence lawyer can be the best way to protect your rights and your future if you have been accused of a crime against a close relative. Contact one today to schedule a consultation and begin planning your defense.