If you have been accused of a domestic violence-related crime, it is imperative to get a criminal defender on your side that can help protect your reputation. 

An experienced and knowledgeable Prince William County domestic violence attorney at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone can help you investigate the facts of your case, determine which legal strategy is most likely to produce a favorable outcome and give you guidance on preliminary matters as you navigate protective orders and protective order violation accusations. 

When you have our firm advocating for your rights, you can breathe easier knowing our team is working diligently to get the protective order and criminal domestic violence charges against you reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed entirely. Contact our team for a free consultation today and learn more about which domestic violence defenses are most likely to result in an acquittal.

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Photo Representing Domestic Violence

Most Common Types of Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence cases can take multiple forms and often include threatening or attempting to cause physical bodily injury to a family or household member. According to Virginia Code Section 16.1–228, you can be accused of domestic violence-related offenses against a family or household member. These parties include:

  • Siblings
  • Half siblings
  • Step siblings
  • Adopted siblings
  • Current and former spouses
  • Stepparents
  • Parents
  • Stepchildren
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Grandparents
  • In-laws
  • Anyone who you have a child with if you are living together or in a relationship
  • Anyone who you have lived with over the last 12 months

Multiple types of criminal offenses often constitute domestic violence-related charges. Some of the top crimes associated with domestic violence include:

  • Unlawful detention
  • Kidnapping
  • Threat to cause fear or bodily harm
  • Causing fear or bodily harm
  • Stalking
  • Domestic assault
  • Cyberstalking
  • Family abuse
  • Sexual assault

These are just a few examples of domestic violence charges you could face in Prince William County. Your criminal defense lawyer at our firm can carefully scrutinize the details of your domestic violence case so you can fully understand the potential penalties you are facing if convicted.

Penalties For a Domestic Violence Conviction in Virginia

The specific consequences you can face in the criminal justice system for a domestic violence offense can vary widely. Under Virginia Code 18.2–11, if you are convicted of stalking or assault and battery of a household or a family member, you could be fined up to $2,500 and spend as much as 12 months in a Prince William County jail. 

However, if this is not your first offense, the penalties could be far more severe. You could be facing as many as five years in a Virginia state prison if you are found guilty. You could also expect to deal with the collateral consequences of a conviction.

Your professional license could be suspended. You might risk losing your child’s custody rights and lose your right to possess firearms. Do not be surprised if a protective order is taken against you if you are convicted. Under Virginia Code 18.2–6 0.3, restraining orders are often available for domestic violence-related charges, including stalking.

For this reason, having a reputable Prince William County domestic violence lawyer handle domestic abuse, domestic assault, family abuse, and other criminal charges against you is crucial. Your Prince William County domestic violence lawyer can help you avoid the criminal penalties of a conviction.

Types of Emergency Restraining Orders in Virginia

Your criminal defense attorney in Prince William County will need to take action as an emergency protective order is taken out against you. Also commonly referred to as EPOs, if an emergency protective order has your name on it, you must follow the terms or face criminal charges for violating a protective order.

EPOs in Virginia can take three different forms. They include:

Photo of a Man Abusing a Woman

Standard emergency protective orders (EPOs) 

An EPO will last for 72 hours and will prohibit the respondent from having any contact with the alleged victim or the alleged victim’s household or family members. It will also prohibit the threat of, use of, or other acts of violence or physical injury to the petitioner or their property.

Preliminary protective orders (PPOs) vs. Permanent protective orders (POs)

PPOs can be issued by a judge and will last as much as 15 days until the respondent attends a restraining order hearing. A PPO prohibits the threat or use of force or violence, as well as any contact with the alleged victim and their household or family members.

PPOs can also grant the petitioner temporary possession of your family residence, custody rights, and jointly owned vehicles and require the respondent to continue paying household expenses, such as rent, mortgage, or utility payments.

In a PO, the order is granted by a judge and will last as much as two years. However, it could be extended for up to two years if the petitioner is granted an extension a PO has the potential to require family members to participate in mental health counseling or treatment and set temporary or permanent child custody or visitation.

Contact an Experienced Prince William County Domestic Violence Lawyer for Help Today

Before you attempt to work with a public defender, it is essential to consider whether you can risk having your case handled by a domestic violence lawyer who may not be able to give your defense the attention it deserves. When you are facing domestic violence allegations or have had a protective or restraining order taken out against you, protecting your reputation and future is crucial.

Make sure you have a reputable Prince William County domestic violence lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone backing you up. Our legal representation offers confidential consultations to individuals accused of domestic violence and related charges across Prince William County, VA. Please take advantage of this opportunity by completing our confidential contact form or calling our office to schedule yours as soon as today.