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Domestic Violence

Strategic Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyers Defending the Rights of Clients Charged with Family Violence Offenses

Domestic violence cases can be some of the most emotional and frustrating cases. Due to the fact that the accused and the alleged victim had a prior relationship, DV cases often involve exaggerated police reports and sometimes outright lies. However, even when that’s the case, it doesn’t make these charges any less serious. At Robinson Law, PLLC, our dedicated team of Fairfax domestic violence defense lawyers have decades of experience aggressively defending the rights of good people charged with serious crimes. We take a strategic approach to family violence cases, conducting thorough investigations so we can determine the best possible defense.

What Is Domestic Violence in Virginia?

Domestic violence refers to certain crimes of violence that are committed against “family or household members.” Under Code of Virginia § 16.1-228, the term “family and household members” includes:

  • Spouses and former spouses,
  • Live-in romantic partners,
  • Co-parents,
  • Parents and stepparents,
  • Children and stepchildren,
  • Siblings and half-siblings,
  • Grandparents and grandchildren, and
  • In-laws living in the same home.

Most domestic violence charges involve allegations that someone physically assaulted a family or household member or violated a protective order that was taken out against them.

Assault and Battery Against a Family or Household Member

Under Code of Virginia 18.2-57.2, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to commit an assault and battery against any family or household member. While assault and battery are frequently used together, they actually refer to different crimes. Assault is defined as placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury, whereas battery involves the unlawful touching of another person. For example, pulling your fist back as though you were going to punch someone could be an assault; however, unless you make physical contact with the other person, it would not be considered a battery.

There are situations in which an assault and battery against any family or household member is a felony offense. For example, if you have two prior convictions for any of the following, the crime will be graded as a Class 6 felony:

Similarly, a domestic violence crime committed against someone who has a valid protective order against you is a Class 6 felony. It is also a Class 6 felony to commit a domestic violence offense while carrying a gun or any other deadly weapon.

Violation of a Protective Order

The second type of domestic violence offense in Virginia is the violation of a protective order [link to Violations of Protective Orders page]. Protective orders are court orders designed to protect someone who has been abused or threatened. While the terms of a protective order vary, they typically prohibit you from communicating with the person who took out the order, including electronic communication like text messaging, emailing, or contacting them through social media.

Violating a protective order is a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if you have a prior conviction for the same, the judge must sentence you to serve at least 60 days in jail. If you have two prior convictions within the past 20 years, the crime becomes a Class 6 felony and includes a mandatory six months in jail. Additionally, the court will issue another protective order that can last up to two years.

Other Possible Domestic Violence Offenses

While these two crimes are the most common domestic violence crimes, there are other related crimes that prosecutors charge, including:

Are You Facing Domestic Violence Charges in Virginia?

If you were recently arrested for a family violence crime, reach out to the dedicated Fairfax criminal defense lawyers at Robinson Law, PLLC, to immediately get started working on your defense. At Robinson Law, we have decades of experience aggressively defending our clients against all types of violent crimes, including family assault cases. We take an individualized approach to every case, working closely with you to determine which defenses are most likely to succeed. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation today, call 703-844-3746. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. We proudly represent clients in Fairfax, Loudon, Stafford, and Suffolk counties, as well as throughout Northern Virginia.

Client Reviews
Very excellent firm, I would definitely recommend their services to ANYONE looking to hire great representation in the Northern Virginia area. My son was charged with felony robbery and mob assault, which is now simple assault. This was my first time hiring an attorney and I have No regrets. If you are looking for excellent representation here you are. Tynesha B.
Informative, responsive and helpful in handling a traffic case and getting fines reduced. The rates for retaining representation were very reasonable too. I highly recommend using their services! Leslie F.
Not only did Mr lee reduce my charges, he also went beyond and filed a motion to the judge and obtained permission for me to travel. He was available whenever I had questions leading up to my case and always had a game plan. I am very satisfied with what he did for me. Marjan B.
Quick response not only to my initial questions, but also in the follow up to my case. Robinson Law, PLLC team were excellent to work with. Thank you! Susan
Very excellent firm, I would recommend anyone in the Northern Virginia area to obtain their services. Ben really helped me in hard times through my case and represented me the whole time time. He was very easy to get in touch with and diligent in his work. Now I finally have my life back and can move on to a better future. Thanks again for everything true life savers. Herbo T.