Ronoake Domestic Violence Lawyers Helping the Accused Fight Criminal Charges
It is illegal to harm, attempt to harm, or threaten to harm a family member in Virginia. This crime is commonly referred to as domestic violence, and it carries serious legal penalties that could greatly impact your life.
If you have been accused of committing domestic violence, it’s imperative to protect yourself by seeking legal representation. Contact the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC at once to discuss your case with an experienced VA defense attorney for domestic violence.
What Are the Domestic Violence Laws in Virginia?
The term domestic violence refers to a violent crime, specifically assault and battery, that is committed against a family member. The law defines “family member” as the defendant’s spouse, former spouse, parents, step-parents, children, step-children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren. It does not matter whether the family member was living with the defendant at the time the crime was committed–it is still domestic violence.
Other individuals, including the defendant’s in-laws, can also qualify as family members, but only if they are living with the defendant at the time the crime occurred.
Victims of domestic violence have the right to file a protective order that requires the alleged offender to avoid contact with them. If you are accused of domestic violence, a protective order can prevent you from making contact with your family members and children and prohibit you from entering the family home.
When Can You Be Placed Under Arrest For Domestic Violence?
Police officers usually need to obtain an arrest warrant to arrest someone for a crime that they did not witness the suspect commit. However, that is not the case for allegations of domestic abuse.
If a police officer has probable cause to believe that a suspect committed assault and battery against a family member, he can arrest him without a warrant and take him into custody on the spot. This means you could be immediately arrested for this crime solely based off of someone’s accusations.
Are Domestic Violence Charges A Felony?
The crime of assault and battery against a family member is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. However, some defendants will face felony charges for this crime instead.
If a defendant has two prior convictions for assault and battery, malicious wounding, aggravated malicious wounding, malicious bodily injury, or other violent crimes committed against a family member, the assault and battery charge becomes a class 6 felony instead of a class 1 misdemeanor. This is only the case when the two prior convictions occurred within a 20-year period.
It’s important to note that a criminal charge should not be taken lightly simply because it is a misdemeanor. A class 1 misdemeanor charge carries a number of potential penalties, including fines and up to one year in jail. If convicted, this charge will also remain on your record, which could negatively affect your personal and professional life in the future.
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?
Sometimes, the person who accused the defendant of domestic violence would like to drop the charges. However, the victim is not in control of the criminal case.
The prosecution and/or the judge presiding over the case are the only two parties that can decide to drop the domestic violence charges. Even if the victim asks to drop the charges, the prosecution and judge may decide to move forward with the case without the victim’s assistance.
It’s possible that the prosecution and/or the judge will decide to drop the charges at some point in the case, though. This can occur when the defense successfully proves that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to proceed with the case.
If the prosecution believes they cannot win at trial, they may choose to drop the charges. Therefore, domestic violence charges can be dropped, but not at the victim’s request.
What Is The Best Way To Fight False Allegations of Domestic Violence
The key to fighting false domestic violence charges is evidence. An attorney can interview witnesses, examine photographs from the scene, and analyze the police report to look for evidence that can be used to clear the defendant’s name. Your attorney will use this evidence to build a case that is strong enough to convince a jury of your innocence.
How Much Does A Top Domestic Violence Lawyer Cost?
The answer to this question varies on a case-by-case basis. Each case is unique, so the cost for legal services can vary depending on the complexity of the case.
It’s important to ask your attorney to explain how he charges for his legal services and to provide an estimate of the charges you will incur. Have this conversation with your attorney early on in the case, so you know what to expect as the case progresses.
What Does A Domestic Abuse Attorney Do?
A criminal law attorney will aggressively fight to protect your rights and reach the best possible outcome in your case. Sometimes, this means negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution to secure reduced charges or lighter penalties.
In other cases, the best possible outcome may be a not guilty verdict at trial. Your attorney will carefully review your case and explain the legal options that he believes are in your best interest.
An experienced attorney can also analyze the prosecution’s case to look for weaknesses. If there are holes in the prosecution’s case or obvious errors, your attorney will use these to your advantage to call the strength of the case into question. Through the entire process, your attorney will serve as your greatest ally in the fight for your freedom.
Contact Our Roanoke Domestic Violence Case For Honest And Aggressive Representation
Have you been accused of committing domestic violence? Let the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC step in to defend your rights and protect your freedom.
Seth C. Weston is a skilled criminal attorney who is known for his aggressive defense of the accused. To schedule a free consultation with our team, call 540-342-5608 or fill out the brief form on our website.