Virginia Domestic Violence Laws


Criminal charges for domestic violence are serious, and if you are convicted, you may face jail time, fines, and restrictions on the contact between you and the victim after your release. Arrest for domestic violence can also damage your reputation, as an innocent person may be arrested on a made-up story. Often, a defendant will take a plea bargain to avoid the most serious penalties. However, you must know your rights before pleading guilty to the charge.

Protective orders

Protective orders can be granted under Virginia’s domestic violence laws. There are three types of protective orders: emergency, preliminary, and permanent. Emergency protective orders are issued for a limited period of time and last until the defendant can request a hearing. The advantages of a preliminary protective order are that it lasts longer than an emergency protective order, so it is like a “waiting period” before the full order is issued.

Assault

Assault under Virginia Domestic Violence Laws carries serious consequences. Often, the accuser can’t even drop the charges themselves – the prosecutor will have to do so. In addition, if you have been charged with domestic violence, you’ll also have to pay rent and utilities for a period of time. In such cases, it’s wise to consult an attorney to protect your rights.

Battery

In Virginia, there are laws that protect victims from assault and battery. Battery is defined as willful physical contact. Assault can also include actions intended to make the victim fear for their safety. It does not necessarily require physical contact, however. Assault can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Both charges carry varying penalties, though first-time offenders may be granted more leniency.

Threatening

A violation of Virginia’s domestic violence laws is considered a threat of harm. The word “threat” can include verbal threats, photos, or even actual phone calls. Threatening to kill or injure someone must be “immediate, specific, and unconditional.” A written threat may not be immediately executable, but it can be used as a defense if the intent is to harm the other person.

Arrest without a warrant

Virginia law requires law enforcement officers to arrest people suspected of domestic violence if they have probable cause. In some cases, they cannot determine who is the primary aggressor and may need to arrest someone with less evidence. Regardless, it is important for police officers to follow the law and get a warrant before they arrest someone. These laws are designed to protect victims of abuse and domestic violence, and an attorney can help you navigate the complexities of this complex issue.

Penalties

While the penalties for domestic violence vary from state to state, the definition of the crime remains the same. Any form of violence, whether physical or emotional, is punishable under Virginia law. Sexual abuse is particularly problematic and often leads to dangerous and unhealthy outcomes. In many cases, the person involved is forced to register as a sex offender. This means that he or she will have to face additional court fees and will likely be unable to work for some time.

Victims’ rights

As a victim of violence, you have legal rights. You can ask to be present in court during any proceeding that affects you, such as bail or bond hearings. If the defendant has been charged with a crime, you may be entitled to attend a trial or a plea bargain hearing, as well as collect witness fees. These rights are outlined below. Victims’ rights under Virginia Domestic Violence Laws are based on state law, but differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.