This Guide explores the details surrounding Virginia's domestic abuse statues.
In order to be convicted of Assault & Battery on a Family or Household Member in Virginia, the Commonwealth must prove numerous elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Those elements are: (1) that there as an unlawful touching, (2) committed by the defendant, (3) that the alleged victim is a family or household member, and (4) that the offense took place in the city or county where the charges originated.
Potential Punishments if Convicted
The offense of Assault & Battery on a Family or Household Member in Virginia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. As such, it carries with it up to a year in jail, and up to a $2,500.00 fine. Additionally, under the 1968 Gun Control Act, and subsequent amendments codified at 18 U.S.C. * 921 et seq., anyone convicted of domestic violence is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
Virginia First Offender Program
Virginia allows individuals who would otherwise be found guilty of this offense to take and complete the Virginia First Offender Program. Under this program, individuals who have never been convicted of domestic assault, or completed the program in the past, are allowed to have the charge completely dismissed if they follow certain conditions. Those conditions include being of good behavior for two years, and undergoing an assessment to determine the need for anger management, substance abuse counseling, and battery intervention education.
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