Penalties For Domestic Violence Convictions In Roanoke, Virginia
This is the sixth post in our series on dealing with domestic violence cases in Roanoke, Virginia. Our last article provided information on what defendants charged with domestic violence could expect at trial or what the trial process is. We also discussed the differences between bench trials and jury trials. As we previously mentioned, trials are subject to the rules of evidence and often involve complex issues of fact, it is imperative that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to assist you. In this article, we will discuss the penalties for a domestic violence conviction. If you require assistance, contact us today to speak with a lawyer.
The state of Virginia imposes harsh penalties on those convicted of domestic violence or domestic assault or battery. Felonies are for more serious offenses. While first offenses that do not involve weapons usually result in a misdemeanor, depending on injuries and other factors a domestic violence incident can result in a felony charge. Those that have been charged with family or domestic abuse typically face up to twelve months in jail and may have to pay a fine of up to $2,500 for misdemeanor charges. Those that have three or more convictions in a ten-year period will have their misdemeanor offense elevated to a Class-6 felony charge, which may result in up to five years of prison. It is important to remember that in addition to jail time and possible fines, one may also be subject to the enforcement of a protective order. These orders prevent defendants from possessing a weapon, coming into contact with the alleged victim and even his or her close relatives. Furthermore, a conviction for domestic violence can be disastrous for those in the midst of a child custody battles. Protective orders are often used by the other parent as way to gain leverage in custody proceedings. Depending on the severity of the conduct, a parent that is convicted of domestic violence may find it difficult to obtain shared or joint custody. Since these charges can have long-lasting effects, it is crucial to retain counsel immediately.
There are other potential consequences associated with a domestic violence conviction. It is not uncommon for those affected by these charges to have issues finding or maintaining employment. The truth is, once a conviction occurs, you face the prospect of having a permanent criminal record. A criminal record may inhibit your ability to pass a background check or entry to the military. Since many employers, banks, and landlords utilize background checks, this could potentially be a serious issue. You may find it difficult to obtain housing, loan approval, or even a professional clearance. Further, those that must carry a weapon in the scope of their employment may find themselves without a job. This is why it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately following an arrest for a domestic violence offense. An experienced lawyer will help to ensure that your rights remain protected and that a suitable defense is constructed on your behalf.
Contact our office today to speak with an attorney and schedule an initial consultation. In addition to Roanoke, we also serve the cities of Cave Spring, Salem, the Botetourt County of Hollins, the Bedford County cities of Bedford and Forest, the Franklin County city of Rocky Mount, and the Montgomery County cities of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford.