How do you defend against allegations of domestic violence?

Written by Ben Brasfield, a native Virginia attorney who focuses on criminal law

There’s no one specific way to defend against a domestic violence charge. Each case is unique and depends upon the particular facts and circumstances of the relationship. The consequences of a conviction for domestic violence can be significant and your Constitutional rights can be affected.

Continue reading to learn more, then contact Select Law Partners, PLLC to discuss your case with a Virginia criminal defense attorney.

defending domestic violence allegations

What are some common defenses for domestic violence allegations?

Every case is different, and your defense will depend upon the specifics of your relationship with your accuser. Possible defenses include self-defense if the relationship was particularly turbulent and there is a history of violence by the accuser. If there are ongoing family law issues (like divorce or child custody or support), those issues can be a motivation underlying the criminal charge.

A domestic assault and battery conviction requires that the prosecutor prove that the defendant and accuser are “family or household members” under Virginia law. This is a specific legal term and, if the defendant and accuser were never married or have no children in common, can be difficult to prove in certain situations.

Finally, if the complaining witness is a child, Virginia law has specific requirements for proving the allegations exceeded the boundaries of child discipline.

How do I defend myself against a domestic violence charge?

If you’re facing a charge for domestic violence, you have the right to a defense. However, the idea of defending yourself against such a charge can be overwhelming, especially if there are ongoing family law issues as well.

What’s at stake when facing a domestic violence charge?

Under Virginia law, domestic assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This means that it is a criminal offense, and the consequences of a first-time conviction can include up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Subsequent offenses often result in heavier sentences and third or subsequent convictions are classified as felonies under Virginia law. More serious forms of domestic violence, such as strangulation or malicious bodily injury, are also felony offenses.

Social and professional penalties

In addition to those formal penalties, a domestic violence conviction can also affect your employment. A conviction can affect your employment – especially a security clearance – and may also affect your ability to possess firearms.

Additionally, upon a conviction for domestic violence, a court can impose a protective order against a defendant for a period of up to two years. The issuance of a protective order requires a defendant to surrender their firearms within 48 hours of issuance and may also affect a person’s employment.

Our domestic violence defense lawyers are here for you

You should never move forward with a domestic violence charge without first exploring your possible defenses with an experienced Fairfax assault & battery lawyer. The risks of a conviction are too high to face without legal counsel, and an experienced attorney can give you the best chance of securing a favorable outcome.

The attorneys at Select Law Partners, PLLC have handled thousands of domestic violence charges and will review the details of your case and help you formulate a defense strategy. Don’t face a domestic violence charge alone – contact us at (855) 541-4867 to get the experienced legal counsel you need to fight domestic violence charges. We’re here to help.

About Ben Brasfield

A native of Alexandria, attorney Ben Brasfield focuses on matters of criminal, traffic defense, and family law. He began his career at Legal Aid Works in Fredericksburg where he represented clients in family law and immigration matters. Ben serves the counties of Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington, Stafford, and the City of Alexandria.