6 Things to Know About a Fairfax Domestic Assault Charge
What is Domestic Assault in Fairfax, Virginia?
The Virginia Code section on Domestic Assault, 18.2-57.2, states:
A. Any person who commits an assault and battery against a family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Upon a conviction for assault and battery against a family or household member, where it is alleged in the warrant, petition, information, or indictment on which a person is convicted, that such person has been previously convicted of two offenses against a family or household member of (i) assault and battery against a family or household member in violation of this section, (ii) malicious wounding or unlawful wounding in violation of § 18.2-51, (iii) aggravated malicious wounding in violation of § 18.2-51.2, (iv) malicious bodily injury by means of a substance in violation of § 18.2-52, (v) strangulation in violation of § 18.2-51.6, or (vi) an offense under the law of any other jurisdiction which has the same elements of any of the above offenses, in any combination, all of which occurred within a period of 20 years, and each of which occurred on a different date, such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
C. Whenever a warrant for a violation of this section is issued, the magistrate shall issue an emergency protective order as authorized by § 16.1-253.4, except if the defendant is a minor, an emergency protective order shall not be required.
D. The definition of “family or household member” in § 16.1-228 applies to this section.
How Is Domestic Assault Punished in Fairfax, Virginia?
Domestic Assault is generally a Class 1 Misdemeanor which is punishable by up to One Year incarceration, and up to a $2,500 fine. If you have two prior convictions of Domestic Assault or related offenses, a third charge will be a Class 6 Felony, punishable by up to five years incarceration and up to a $2,500 fine.
Domestic Assault Can Affect Your Firearm Rights
Even though it is a misdemeanor, due to federal law, Domestic Assault will result in the loss of your firearm rights. These currently cannot be restored.
Who Counts as “Domestic” for Domestic Assault in Fairfax, Virginia?
The types of individuals and relationships covered by this statute are as follows:
“Family or household member” means (i) the person’s spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (ii) the person’s former spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (iii) the person’s parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether such persons reside in the same home with the person, (iv) the person’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who reside in the same home with the person, (v) any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together at any time, or (vi) any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person.Va Code 16.1-228
So this includes spouses, ex-spouses, step-parents, half-siblings, in-laws, co-parents (even if you were never married or lived together), and anyone who you lived with in the past year.
Domestic Assault is Tried in the Juvenile And Domestic Relations Court
While most misdemeanors are tried in the Fairfax County General District Court, Domestic Assault is tried in the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, due to the nature of the offense. This court is less public (cases are not posted on the Court’s website) and it focuses on family issues.
Domestic Assault Will Result in An Emergency Protective Order
When you are charged with Domestic Assault and Battery, an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) will be issued for 72 hours against you for the alleged victim, who can choose to pursue the separate process to extend that protective order. Our attorneys are experienced in Protective Order cases as well as criminal cases such as Domestic Assault and Battery.
Hire a Fairfax Domestic Assault Attorney
Our Client-Focused Criminal Defense Attorneys practice in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun, and are experienced with Domestic Assault cases. Contact us to learn how we can help you fight your Alexandria, Virginia criminal case.