When you face domestic violence charges, it can be a confusing time in your life. Understanding what you are up against and how the law will impact your case is not always easy.
It can help to learn more about the law and the details of such a charge. One of the first things to note, according to Virginia’s Judicial System, is that a domestic violence case can be criminal or civil. You may also face both types of cases.
Criminal cases will typically involve the prosecutor charging you with assault and battery. There is no criminal charge called domestic violence, but the prosecutor will ensure the court understands this is a domestic issue, which can affect the outcome of your case if the court finds you guilty.
If you face a criminal charge, you will probably be under arrest at the time of the incident once law enforcement arrives. The state law indicates that officers remove the person they suspect committed the crime.
If this is your first charge for domestic violence, you will face a misdemeanor conviction. If the court finds you guilty, your punishment may include a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. If you have previous charges within the last ten years, your charge increases to a felony and punishment increases to up to five years in prison.
A civil case for domestic violence involves protection orders against you. If the court grants the order, you may be unable to return to your home, see your children and lose other rights.