Domestic violence charges can destroy your reputation whether you are acquitted or convicted. Thankfully, when you have a reputable Manassas domestic violence attorney from the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone working for you, you can protect your future.
Our team will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of domestic violence cases to challenge the allegations and defend against protective orders. Contact our Manassas domestic violence lawyers for a confidential case evaluation today to learn more about the severity of your charges and how to challenge the domestic violence accusations against you.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence charges can include multiple types of criminal offenses. Some of the crimes your Manassas criminal defense attorney will be prepared to handle include the following:
- Causing fear of or actual bodily injury
- Sexual assault
However, it should be noted multiple offenses could constitute domestic violence. Your dedicated Manassas criminal defense attorney will be ready to handle your allegations, no matter the crime. We will work tirelessly to fight protective orders, challenge protective order violation accusations, and more.
Domestic Assault Charges in Manassas
Generally, domestic assault charges apply when there is a threat, attempt, or act of physical bodily injury to a household or family member under Virginia Code Section 16.1–228. Some of the different parties considered family or household members include:
- Adopted siblings
- Anyone you have a child with if you are in a relationship or living together
- Anyone you have previously lived with over the last year
- Current spouses
- Former spouses
- Half siblings
- Step siblings
- Step parents
Again, these are just a few parties considered household or family members. If you are unsure whether the alleged victim in your case has the authority to pursue domestic violence protective orders and criminal charges, discuss your concerns with your dedicated criminal defense attorney.
Manassas Domestic Violence Penalties
The penalties for domestic violence convictions in Manassas vary based on the crime the defendant is charged with. For example, under Virginia Code Section 18.2–11, you could face up to 12 months in a Prince William County jail and pay up to $2,500 in fines for assault and battery of a family or household member.
Alternatively, if you are convicted of a felony-level domestic violence offense, you might spend up to five years in a Virginia state prison and face fines as high as $100,000. That does not include the collateral consequences, which could substantially impact your life for years to come.
For example, you might lose child custody, lose possession of your home, be prohibited from communicating with the alleged victim in your case, lose your right to federal student aid, and have your firearm rights taken away.
What is Required to Prove a Domestic Violence Charge?
In a domestic violence case, the prosecuting attorney must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the jury must not have any doubts that the defendant is guilty of the domestic violence charge in question. Your Manassas domestic violence lawyer will be responsible for disputing any evidence against you, such as:
This may include photos of the alleged victim’s injuries, destroyed property, copies of the alleged victim’s medical records, and video evidence of the alleged domestic violence incident.
If there were witnesses to the alleged domestic violence incident, they might be called to testify. Your attorney will be prepared to cross-examine them and question any discrepancies or false allegations and determine their intent in testifying against you.
Statements From the Alleged Victim and Arresting Officers
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the alleged victim might refuse to testify against you. However, if they are called to testify, their testimony could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case if your attorney does not successfully cross-examine them and question their intent in testifying.
The law enforcement officials that arrived at the domestic violence incident may testify as to any property damage that occurred, the alleged victim’s injuries, and what law enforcement observed as they investigated the domestic violence situation.
How Your Manassas Domestic Violence Lawyers Help
You need a reputable domestic violence lawyer to help clear the charges against you. Such allegations can destroy your reputation whether you are convicted or acquitted.
You can expect your lawyer to investigate the evidence against you and file any necessary pretrial motions to get it tossed out. If the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to secure a conviction, your lawyer might be able to get the charges against you dismissed entirely.
We will also work with the district attorney to determine whether a pretrial diversion is possible. Although they may typically only be available in instances of first-time, non-violent offenses, if you are dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues, the state may be willing to make an exception and get you the rehabilitative help you need.
Call a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Manassas
Few charge judgments are as harsh as those associated with domestic violence. If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense, it is imperative that you clear your name of these charges, or your reputation could be destroyed for the foreseeable future.
When you have a dedicated Manassas domestic violence attorney at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone on your side, you can rest easier knowing our team is working tirelessly to build a compelling defense. Discuss your legal options further when you contact our team for a confidential criminal defense evaluation. You can reach us through our quick contact form or by phone to get started.