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Fauquier County Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence is a social problem that can have massive effects on our society as well as on individuals. If a person is a victim of domestic violence, they may have trouble participating in the economic or social systems.

If someone accuses a person of committing some act of violence against a loved one, the judicial system may limit that person’s rights and their reputation may be damaged. An order of protection may affect a person’s ability to go certain places or see certain named people.

An order of protection is a court order which must be obeyed. If a judge has issued one naming you or you have an upcoming hearing, proceed carefully. If you violate an order of protection, you may be held in contempt of court and the court may issue serious punishments.

A Fauquier county domestic violence lawyer may be able to help. A skilled attorney could work to help you during any hearings, explain an order of protection, or help if the police have charged you with assault of a family member.

What is Considered Domestic Vdviolence

If the police suspect that a person has assaulted a family or household member, the police officer may arrest that person. The Virginia Code § 18.2-57.2 states that a first time act of assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the court had previously convicted the actor twice before for similar acts of violence within the past 20 years, the court can find that person guilty of a Class 6 felony.

If a magistrate issues a warrant for the arrest of someone who violated this law, the magistrate must also issue a protective order.

Protective Orders for Domestic Violence

If there is probable cause to believe an actor committed some violence against a household or family member, the magistrate may issue an emergency protective order to protect the health and safety of at-risk family or household members. This law appears in Virginia Code § 16.1-253.4. These orders are ex parte, which means no formal hearing is held and the defendant does not have to be present.

The order can include the following conditions:

  • Prohibiting the actor from injuring the family or property at issue,
  • Prohibiting contact between the actor and the alleged victim and potentially other family members,
  • Granting the alleged victim exclusive use of the premises, and
  • Granting the alleged victim exclusive possession of any pets.

Emergency protective orders only last three days. Afterwards, there will be a hearing where both parties to the matter may appear.

Preliminary Protect Order

A preliminary protective order, according to Virginia Code § 16.1-253.1, is similar to an emergency protective order, but may require more evidence. The court can order more conditions, including temporary child support.

Protective Order for Family Abuse after a Hearing

The court may issue a protective order in the event of any domestic violence, whether the respondent was incarcerated or not. Virginia Code § 16.1-279.1 describes the types of conditions a judge may order. Besides the ones listed above, a judge may also:

  • Grant the alleged victim use of a cellular phone or other electronic devices,
  • Grant the alleged victim use of a car,
  • Prohibit respondent from terminating utility services for the alleged victim’s home,
  • Require respondent to provide alternative housing for the alleged victim,
  • Require respondent to participate in counseling, and
  • Any other relief necessary, such as custody or visitation schedules for a minor child.

Find Out More from a Fauquier County Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are concerned about possible charges related to domestic abuse, assault or a protective order, you may wish to speak with an attorney. Domestic violence is no small matter and charges can greatly influence your life. You owe it to yourself to understand your rights and the possible outcomes.

A Fauquier county lawyer who understands domestic violence laws may be the most valuable asset you have during such a difficult time. Reach out today to learn more about what may happen and how you can move forward.

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