Virginia Domestic Violence Penalties

There are a number of potential penalties associated with domestic violence in Virginia. The one that people often have the most concern about is going to jail. Any time there is a crime of violence, there is the potential for active incarceration.

In addition, the court has the ability to impose fines, place a person on probation, order anger management or other kinds of treatment, and enter a protective order, which requires the defendant to stay away from the alleged victim and in some cases to stay away from their own home.

To best understand any further domestic violence penalties you may be facing in Virginia, consult with an experienced Virginia domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.

Long-Term Consequences

The long-term consequences of a Virginia domestic violence charge are having a criminal record, which can be significant, particularly in areas where jobs require background checks and security clearances, like the government. Having that on a person’s record can put the person in a position where they cannot work.

In addition, there are potential consequences a person might experience in an ongoing or future custody and visitation case, even if the charge has had nothing to do with the children. Courts, when considering what is in the best interest of a child in terms of custody and visitation, are going to consider whether a person has done something violent in the past.

Aggravating Factors

The two biggest aggravating factors present any time a court is passing sentence are going to be whether the individual has a record of having committed similar crimes in the past and whether there are injuries determining how violent the crime was.

The worse the facts and the more damage that was done, the worse it may be for the defendant. Any time a person has committed similar crimes in the past, it is likely to be aggravating and cause the court to impose much harsher penalties as associated with an individual’s Virginia domestic violence accusation.

Civil Protection Order

The main way that the civil protective order can affect the penalty of a Virginia domestic violence charge is if the crime that is charged was accomplished or perpetrated in violation of a protective order.

If a protective order is in place and an individual commits a crime against the person who that order was supposed to protect, then that can be something that can significantly amplify the penalties in the case.

Benefit of an Attorney

It is important to contact a domestic violence attorney immediately when a person is charged with this crime, because there are proactive steps that they can take to help their case from the beginning.

It is also true that there are mistakes that a person might make which can have a significant impact on the case. The individual might not be aware of this or know how to avoid these mistakes unless they have consulted with an attorney. An experienced attorney can assist an individual in reducing any potential penalties associated with their Virginia domestic violence charge.