LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Brenton Daniel Vincenzes | Sep 11, 2013

Penalties for an Assault and Battery Against a “Family or Household Member”

Penalties for an Assault and Battery Against a “Family or Household Member"

An assault and battery charge against a family or household member may be a:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor; or,
  • Class 6 felony.

To learn whether or not a specific individual is considered your "family or household member" for purposes of an assault and battery, read our recent Avvo guide on this topic.

We think it is important for those charged with any criminal offense to speak with a criminal defense attorney, because in Virginia, a Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor.

It is a Class 6 felony if the defendant has been already convicted within the past 20 years of any combination of two of the following offenses against a family or household member, all of which must have occurred on separate dates:

  • assault and battery
  • malicious wounding
  • aggravated malicious wounding
  • malicious bodily injury by means of a substance ; or
  • a crime in another jurisdiction that contains the same elements of any of the offenses above

Emergency Protective Order Required?

Unless the defendant is a minor when the warrant is issued for an assault and battery against a family or household member, an emergency protective order will also be issued.

Firearm Limitation

Another consequence to a domestic violence charge is, as a result of the protective order being issued, the inability to buy a firearm (see Virginia Code § 18.2-308.1:4).

Requirement for Active Duty Members of the U.S. Armed Forces

If found guilty of an assault and battery against a family or household member, then the convicted person is required to report the conviction to family advocacy representatives of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Our next guide will discuss a way some domestic violence cases may be dismissed.

Additional resources provided by the author

§ 18.2-57.2. – Assault and Battery against a family or household member. Penalty § 16.1-228. Definitions. § 18.2-57.4. Reporting findings of assault and battery to military family advocacy representatives. § 18.2-57.3. Persons charged with first offense of assault and battery against a family or household member may be placed on local community-based probation; conditions; education and treatment programs; costs and fees; violations; discharge.

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