Virginia Beach Domestic Assault Defense Attorneys
Domestic assault and battery is a serious charge, and it is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor (Virginia Code § 18.2-57.2), which can carry steep penalties. Domestic assault occurs when a person threatens battery or tries to commit battery against a family or household member.
Battery occurs when a person physically touches another person in an insulting or angry manner. Battery can also occur if the accused person uses an item to strike a household member. A person can be charged with domestic assault even if they only threatened battery and no touching or physical injury actually occurs.
If you have been arrested and charged with domestic assault, now is the time to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. You will need an experienced legal representative to ensure that your rights are protected and to help you build the strongest possible defense to the charges.
At Pincus Goodman, P.C., our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients accused of domestic assault in Virginia Beach. We will thoroughly evaluate the details of your case and help you identify the proper defense. Call us today at (757) 301-9634 for a consultation.
What Constitutes a Family or Household Member?
Virginia law defines family or household members as:
- A person’s spouse, even if they don’t live in the same household
- A person’s ex-spouse, even if they live apart
- Family relatives, including parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether they live with the person or not
- The person’s in-laws, including their mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law who live in the same household as the person
- An individual who shares a child with the person, regardless of whether the two were ever married or cohabitated
- Any individual who lives with the person or has lived with them within the past 12 months and any kids who lived with them during that time
Domestic assault allegations sometimes occur in the heat of the moment, after a passionate argument between two members of the same household. However, even if your accuser later requests that the charges against you be dropped, only the court gets to decide whether your case should be dismissed. That’s why it is crucial to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who has the skills to successfully challenge the prosecution’s claims.
Penalties for Domestic Assault in Virginia
As a Class 1 misdemeanor, the penalties for domestic assault in Virginia include a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. However, domestic assault can also be charged as a felony in some cases. First offenses are generally charged as misdemeanors, but you can be convicted of a Class 6 felony for a third assault offense against a family or household member within a 20-year period.
The previous two convictions can be for domestic assault or a combination of offenses perpetrated against a family member or someone who belongs to your household, including malicious wounding, aggravated malicious wounding, malicious injury with a substance or agent (such as an explosive), and strangulation. The penalties for a Class 6 felony in Virginia could include 1-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Potential Defenses in a Domestic Assault Case
There is a broad range of possible defenses our attorneys could use to defend you against domestic assault charges. Ultimately, your defense will depend on the facts of your case. Some defenses we have successfully utilized in the past include self-defense, arguing that the incident was not intentional (i.e., it was an accident), or demonstrating that there’s no proof it ever occurred.
If this is the first time you have been charged with domestic assault, there is a provision in Virginia law that allows judges to place first-time offenders on probation while they complete a deferred disposition program. During this time, the court will defer rendering a guilty verdict, and if the offender successfully completes the program, the charges could be dismissed. However, there are numerous eligibility requirements under this provision, so you should speak to an attorney to determine whether you qualify.
Contact a Virginia Beach Domestic Assault Attorney Today
If you were charged with domestic assault in Virginia Beach, contact a Virginia Beach domestic assault attorney at Pincus Goodman, P.C., today to learn about your legal rights and options. We will do everything in our power to fight the allegations leveled against you, with the goal of having your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us at (757) 301-9634 for a case evaluation.