Fairfax Domestic Violence Lawyer

Fairfax VA Domestic Violence lawyer: Defend your rights

For many years, Virginia state law posed a tough challenge for the defendant of domestic abuse charges. Under Fairfax Virginia laws, it is a criminal offense to injure, attempt to harm, or threaten a member of your family or household. It is also a crime to breach a protective order.

In Fairfax VA, a person commits family abuse (also known as domestic violence) by committing any act against a family or household member that involves violence, force, or threats and causes physical infliction or results in fear of harm for the family or household member. Besides, stalking in the first, second, and third-degree and sexual assault to a family member constitutes a domestic violence offense.

Family and Household members

The (Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-228.) defines a family and household member as any of the following:

  • Spouses and former spouses,
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • In-laws that share residency
  • People who have children together
  • And people who live together in the past year.

Assault and battery

In Fairfax VA, committing an assault or battery to a family or household member is what constitutes domestic violence.

Arrest for Domestic Violence

When a police officer has a probable cause to believe that a person has committed assault and battery against a family, a household member, or violated a protective order in Fairfax VA, a police officer may make an arrest. The officer may proceed with the arrest without a warrant and should, in the absence of special circumstances, take the person into custody.

Unlike the usual rule where a police officer has to obtain a warrant of arrest, this circumstance is an exception.

(Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-81.3.)

Protective Orders

A protective order (also restrain order), is a court order that requires the defendant to stay away from or not to contact the petitioner. Here are the different types of protective orders:

  • Preliminary Protective Order

In the state of Virginia, any victim of domestic violence can file a petition alleging that s/he is or has been within a period of time a subject to an act of violence force or threat. The court may then issue a preliminary protective order against the alleged perpetrator to protect the health and safety of the petitioner, any family or household member.

When the court finds family abuse, it may issue a preliminary protective order:

  • Prohibiting family abuse or criminal offenses
  • Restricting the alleged perpetrator from contacting the petitioner or other family or household members
  • Granting the petitioner possession of any share residence
  • Requiring the respondent to restrain or restore residential utility services
  • Giving the petitioner temporary possession of a vehicle
  • Demanding the defendant to provide housing for the petitioner or other family members and
  • Granting any other reliefs necessary.

The preliminary is effective upon personal service of the defendant and continues to hold until the case is over. The trial must proceed within 15 days of the preliminary order unless there is a good reason to delay it for up to six months.

(Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-253.1.)

  • Final Protective Order

When a trial results into a conviction (whether by plea or after a trial) a judge may issue a final protective order which might:

  • Require, prohibit or grant, any reassurance that is in a preliminary protective order
  • Demand the defendant to participate in counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation program
  • Grant attorney`s fees, and
  • Order temporary child support.

(Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-279.1.)

  • Emergency Protective Order

Besides, any Virginia judge can issue an emergency protective order if the judge finds that there is a danger of further acts of family abuse. The victim is not required to present in court when the order is issued.

However, the emergency protective order is limited. It can only:

  • Forbids acts of family abuse or crimes
  • Prevent the defendant from getting into contact with a specific family member and
  • Give a family member possession of a shared residence

The emergency protective order provides temporary protection and lasts only three days in Fairfax, VA.

(Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-253.4.)

Violating Protective Order

Violating the most provision of a protective order is a crime. Breaching a restraining order is also contempt of court and is punishable by time in jail or a fine.

(Va. Code Ann. § § 16.1-253.1, 16.1-279.1.)


  1. Assault and battery against a family or household member is also a class 1 misdemeanor carrying an up to one-year jail term or a $2,500 fine
  2. The court may place a first time offender on probation and order treatment as a condition of probation.
  3. If the defendant has two or more prior convictions for assault and battery (or similar crimes) against a family or a household member, then assault and battery is punishable as a class 6 felony that attracts a jail term that ranges from one to five year and a fine of up to $2,500.
  4. It is a class 1 misdemeanor to violate a protective order by
  5. Committing family abuse
  6. Committing any crime
  7. Contacting a prohibited person
  8. Or going to a prohibited place
  9. A conviction for a second time involving breaching of a restraining order when the previous or current charges entailing domestic assault attracts a minimum jail term of 60 days
  10. A third of a subsequent sentence for breaching a protective order involving violence comes with a class 6 felony penalties. The defendant must serve at least six months in jail.
  11. A conviction for domestic violence against a person under a protective order is punishable as a class 6 felony.

(Va. Code Ann. § § 16.1-253.2, 18.2-10, 18.2-11, 18.2-57.2, 18.2-57.3, 18.2-60.4.)

Obtaining Legal Advice and Representation

The consequences of domestic violence allegations can be detrimental regarding your personal and family life and professional reputation. You`ll need on your side a local violence lawyer who understands criminal law and how family law proceedings can impact a domestic violence charge.

A protective order or a conviction for assault and battery on a family or household member can have severe consequences in your life. To answer numerous legal questions, contact NOVA Criminal Attorney of Jad Sarsour.

If not handled correctly, accusations of domestic violence can lead to jail time, fines, probation, restrain orders, an order of protection, the loss of child custody, exclusion from home, and even the loss of your job.

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