Domestic violence is a serious problem for too many families in Virginia. To protect victims of domestic violence, Virginia has specific procedures to obtain restraining orders against alleged domestic offenders. Furthermore, Virginia has strict laws criminalizing domestic assault. For example, it is unlawful in this state to threaten, attempt to injure, or actually injure any member of your household or family. Under Virginia Code Ann. § 16.1-228, members of the household may include:
- Former spouses
- Unmarried parents of the same child
- Parents and step-parents
- Siblings, step-siblings, and half-siblings
- In-laws who reside in the same home
- Two people who cohabitate or who used to cohabitate within the past year
- Any children of either cohabitant
Acts of domestic violence may or may not cause actual physical injury, as it is illegal to even put a family or household member in fear of physical injury. Therefore, domestic violence may be charged without any evidence of physical injuries to any family member.
Though domestic violence laws are very important to protect family members who believe they are in danger of harm, the laws also open up the very real possibility of false or wrongful accusations. In some circumstances, one parent may simply want to keep the other away from their children, and so may make domestic violence accusations in order to get a restraining order.
Because domestic violence does not have to cause physical harm, these cases may often involve one person’s word against the other’s. However, such false implication can have very serious consequences for the accused. Not will the accused likely be kept from his or her family, but may also face very serious criminal assault charges that may result in probation or even time in jail. For this reason, anyone accused of domestic violence should immediately contact an experienced attorney for assistance defending their case and standing up for their rights.
If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, the dedicated family law attorneys of the Law Office of Raymond B. Benzinger can help you. Raymond Benzinger will work to ensure your rights are protected and that you do not face wrongful conviction. Do not hesitate to call our office today at (703) 312-0410 for help.