Fairfax Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Domestic violence charges can come with harsh, lasting penalties upon conviction. Even before a domestic violence case is resolved, however, there can be serious impacts – like spending time in jail, being forced out your home, losing a job, and suffering damage to personal relationships.
At MacDowell Law Group, P.C., our attorneys are aware of how ruinous domestic violence charges can be and how important it is to vigorously fight them. That is one of the reasons why our Fairfax lawyers are focused on helping the accused build the strongest possible defense against domestic violence charges.
As fierce litigators who have decades of experience protecting the rights of the accused, our attorneys are ready to help you fight prosecutors’ allegations and bring your domestic violence case to the best possible outcome.
Domestic Violence Arrests, Charges & Cases in Virginia: Important Answers for the Accused
Being accused of domestic violence can be upsetting, distressing and maybe even frustrating and scary. Knowing what to expect from the charges and case, however, can help relieve some anxiety and start to reveal the best options for fighting the allegations.
To this end, the following provides some helpful answers about Virginia domestic violence laws and cases. While this information is valuable for anyone who has been accused of domestic violence in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact a Fairfax defense attorney at MacDowell Law Group, P.C. when you are ready for information specific to your case and situation.
Our lawyers are ready to meet with you and help you starting building a strong defense ASAP.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Virginia law defines domestic violence as “family violence” or “family abuse” that can include acts of violence or psychological abuse committed against:
- A spouse or a former spouse
- A roommate
- Others who live in the same household.
Some examples of the actions that could constitute domestic violence include (and are not limited to):
- Physical violence, such as punching, slapping or kicking
- Sexual assault
- Emotional abuse or neglect
- Economic control.
What Happens after a Domestic Violence Call Is Made to Police?
When law enforcement officials respond to domestic violence calls, Virginia law requires them to make an arrest if:
- There is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has occurred.
- The alleged perpetrator is still at the home when police arrive.
Virginia law also requires an automatic arrest when there is probable cause to believe that protective orders have been violated.
This means that police do not need to obtain a warrant before or in order to make a legal arrest for domestic violence.
Are Virginia Domestic Violence Charges Misdemeanors or Felonies?
It depends on whether the accused person has any prior domestic violence convictions. In general, domestic violence charges will be filed as:
- Misdemeanors for first and second offenses – In these cases, the charges will typically be Class 1 misdemeanors, which can be publishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or up to $2,500 in fines.
- Felonies when the accused individual has at least 3 prior domestic violence convictions on his or her record and these convictions occurred within the past 10 years – In these cases, the charges will usually be Class 6 felonies, which can be punishable by up to 5 years in prison (or up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines).
How Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?
The only way for domestic violence charges in Virginia to be dropped is by the Commonwealth’s Attorney dropping them. This means that an alleged victim cannot simply drop the charges (or try to get them dropped by refusing to testify in court).
Should I Hire an Attorney for My Criminal Case?
Yes. An attorney can review the facts and evidence in your case and help you determine and move forward with your best defense option(s).
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Case?
In addition to helping you build and present a strong defense case, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you:
- Refute the Commonwealth’s Attorney allegations
- Work to get as much of the evidence against you discredited or, when possible, thrown out
- Protect your rights and interests at every point in the criminal justice system
- Obtain the best possible outcome to your case.
The bottom line is that the right lawyer can help you favorably resolve your domestic violence case and minimize its potential impacts on your life.
Get More Answers Now: Contact a Fairfax Domestic Violence Lawyer at MacDowell Law Group, P.C.
If you have been arrested for or charged with domestic violence in Virginia, contact an experienced Fairfax domestic violence lawyer at the MacDowell Law Group, P.C. by calling (703) 277-2811 or by emailing our firm via the contact form on this page.
Our lawyers are ready to provide you with the answers – and aggressive defense representation – you need to fight the allegations and bring your case to the best possible resolution.
Experienced at practicing in all Virginia courts (including the Virginia Supreme Court), our lawyers provide exceptional defense representation to people throughout Fairfax County and the state of Virginia.