Fraud Blocker

Understanding the Complex Nature of Domestic Assault Allegations

Domestic violence is a grave issue that affects many families across the nation, leaving emotional and physical scars that can last a lifetime. Assaulting a family member is unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances, and the law comes down hard on those found guilty of such actions.

Unfortunately, there are those who will levy accusations of domestic violence against a partner or former partner in order to gain leverage in a separation case or for other nefarious reasons. We want to explore both ends of this – for those who are rightly accused and prosecuted and those who face false allegations in Virginia and need to defend their freedom and their right to see their children.

Mandatory Protective Orders

First and foremost, if a person is charged with assaulting a family member in Virginia then the law mandates an automatic protective order. This protective order serves as a crucial step to ensure the safety of the alleged victim while the legal process unfolds.

It’s essential to note that the standard for obtaining a protective order is different from that required for conviction of a criminal offense. To obtain a protective order, the court need only find by a preponderance of evidence that an act of violence or threat of bodily harm has occurred, a lower threshold than proof beyond a reasonable doubt which is needed for conviction.

If a protective order is issued against you, you have the right to appeal it within 10 days to the circuit court. However, if you fail to overturn the order or choose not to appeal, you may be forced to stay away from your home and your children for a specified period of time.  

Additionally, having an active protective order against you prevents you from carrying or possessing firearms. Protective orders, as well as domestic assault convictions, have both short- and long-term impacts on your ability to own firearms.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Virginia

There are different types of domestic assault charges in Virginia, depending on the circumstances of your case.  The minimum charge you could face for family assault is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.  If you are charged with domestic assault after two or more prior convictions for the same offense, you can be charged with a Class 6 Felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Rinehart Bryant Stands by Victims and Supports Those Falsely Accused

At Rinehart Bryant, we understand the complexities surrounding domestic assault allegations. We have seen both sides of these and are horrified by the actions people often take against people who they once loved.

Our team regularly attends and sponsors events that support victims of domestic violence in Virginia. We stand by victims of domestic violence, offering support and guidance throughout the legal process. Victims are represented by the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who prosecutes the case on their behalf. We are happy to accompany clients who need support and assistance during this process.

We also have experience standing by people who are falsely accused of assaulting family members. These experiences can be demoralizing, knowing you are innocent but are still facing significant consequences.

Domestic violence allegations are a serious matter. Nobody should ever fear for their safety in their own home or be wrongly accused of such serious crimes. Rinehart Bryant is here to provide the guidance and representation you need during these challenging times.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence and needs assistance, call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233

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