Assault and Battery Against a Family or Household Member

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What is Assault and Battery against a family or Household member in Virginia?

A. Any person who commits an assault and battery against a family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.B. Upon a conviction for assault and battery against a family or household member, where it is alleged in the warrant, petition, information, or indictment on which a person is convicted, that such person has been previously convicted of two offenses against a family or household member of (i) assault and battery against a family or household member in violation of this section, (ii) malicious wounding or unlawful wounding in violation of § 18.2-51, (iii) aggravated malicious wounding in violation of § 18.2-51.2, (iv) malicious bodily injury by means of a substance in violation of § 18.2-52, (v) strangulation in violation of § 18.2-51.6, or (vi) an offense under the law of any other jurisdiction which has the same elements of any of the above offenses, in any combination, all of which occurred within a period of 20 years, and each of which occurred on a different date, such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.C. Whenever a warrant for a violation of this section is issued, the magistrate shall issue an emergency protective order as authorized by § 16.1-253.4, except if the defendant is a minor, an emergency protective order shall not be required.Va. Code § 18.2-57.2

How is it Punished?

Assault on a family member or domestic violence is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punished in Virginia with jail up to one year and up to a $2,500 fine. Along with possible jail time and monetary fines, you could be liable for other payments such as payment of rent, child support payments, as well as any other payments a judge sees fit. Lastly, a criminal protective order against a family member will prohibit you from possessing weapons. If you are a military service member, you will be prohibited from possessing and transporting a firearm, which could put your military career in jeopardy.

Protective Orders

If you are a victim of domestic violence, check our protective order page to determine the right one for you. There are a number of protective orders in Virginia. A Virginia domestic violence lawyer can help you figure out what you need to protect yourselves and your loved ones.If you are being charged with assault and battery on a family member, you will be issued a protective order against you for your family member who is the alleged victim. This order will prohibit you from contacting them in any way, living in the same house as them, and other conditions such as prohibition on firearms. A judge can order additional conditions as part of a protective order that they deem appropriate.


There are plenty of situations when restitution could be required. If you are a victim, you might have medical bills, mental health counseling bills, cost of moving, loss of financial support, child support, and loss of wages that could have resulted from the assault on you.If you have been accused of domestic violence, you may be required to pay all of the above. Even while the case is pending against you.


It is important for someone charged with domestic violence in Virginia to hire a criminal defense attorney who is close to home. We are located right next to the Alexandria Courthouse and minutes away from Arlington, Fairfax, and Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) courts. Our firm handles these cases in many locations throughout Northern Virginia such as:Alexandria Juvenile & Domestic Relations CourtArlington Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations CourtPrince William County Juvenile & Domestic Relations CourtLoudoun County Juvenile & Domestic Relations CourtEastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Court

Should you get an attorney?

Yes. Virginia laws on domestic violence are complicated and can take a toll on both sides. If you have been accused or if you are a victim, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are preserved and voice heard.If a person wants to report a crime and press charges for assault and battery on a family member, you will need a lawyer to make sure that the case goes through court, pursued by the prosecutor, your demands heard and you are made whole.If you have been accused of assault and battery on a family member, you will need a lawyer to ensure that your rights are preserved and you are given a fair trial. You will have to navigate many things such as a protective order against your family member, a potential protective order against your children, and having to move out of your family home.