Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic Violence shatters lives and rips families apart. If you or someone you love has been charged with domestic violence or domestic assault, you have powerful legal protections at your disposal. An experienced Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer can help you protect your rights and your well-being.
At the Law Office of Robert L. Lichtenstein, we have extensive experience handling domestic violence and domestic abuse issues for clients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Over the past twenty-five plus years, Robert L. Lichtenstein has handled hundreds of these cases.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence this doesn’t make you a criminal or a bad person. I see clients on a daily basis who are in a healthy relationship or marriage, with absolutely no history of domestic violence or abuse. It’s quite common that a good person will get themselves in a bad situation, which results in the police being called, and the client needing a Domestic Violence Attorney.
Domestic Violence is a reality, and it touches every age, gender and socioeconomic group. If you’ve been charged with Domestic Violence in Virginia, it’s important that you have an advocate in your corner from the very beginning. As an experienced Virginia Domestic Violence Lawyer, I know this charge can affect every aspect of your life, and it can carry life altering consequences.
As your attorney, we will gather all of the evidence in your case, and get a private investigator involved if necessary. We will build your defense, and our first goal will be an outright dismissal or a not guilty verdict at trial.
Domestic Assault Lawyer
Fighting False Accusations
As devastating as domestic violence is, false accusations also ruin lives and corrupt the legal system designed to help victims. As heartless as it sounds, it is not unheard of for a person engaged in a divorce dispute to make a false accusation of domestic violence to gain advantage in the legal proceedings. Over my twenty-five plus years practicing, I have heard many false accusations pertaining to Domestic Assault and Domestic Abuse.
Our law firm aggressively represents clients who have been falsely accused of domestic violence. We work to uncover the facts and expose lies, so our clients do not lose the right to live in their homes and spend time with their children.
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Family abuse (also called spousal abuse) is when one member of the household causes physical harm to another, when one person in the household forces sexual activity on another, or when one family member threatens to harm another. Family Abuse/Spousal Abuse happens between married couples and between couples who aren’t married, between the members of the same family or household, between people who are related to each other, and between people who aren’t related but who live together (boyfriends and girlfriends, in-laws).
If you are being physically hurt, sexually abused, or threatened by household or family members:
You can file criminal charges by getting an assault warrant from a Magistrate. The police will tell you how you can do this. However, charges can only be dropped when you have appeared before the judge.
In cases of spousal abuse, you can file a civil case by asking this Court for a protective order.
You can file both a family abuse case (a civil case) at this Court and an assault case (a criminal case) through a magistrate.
Domestic Violence/Domestic Assault Consequences
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, if law enforcement officers are called to a domestic disturbance scene, they will make an arrest. While they do their best to determine the primary aggressor, their assessments may not always be accurate.
Domestic violence convictions carry heavy consequences—some that may last a lifetime. Please contact us today so that we can begin to put your life back together.
What are Protective Orders?
They are legal documents issued by a judge or magistrate to protect the health and safety of a person who is alleged to be a victim of any act involving violence, force or threat that results in bodily injury or places that person in fear of death, sexual assault or bodily injury.
In Virginia, there are 3 kinds of Protective Orders that can protect you and others in your family or home:
- Emergency Protective Order (expires at the end of the third day following issuance or the next day court is in session, whichever is later)
- Preliminary Protective Order (lasts 15 days or until a full hearing)
- Protective Order (may last up to 2 years)
How will I know when the Emergency Protective Order ends?
You should look on the order for the date and time it expires. If you need protection for a longer period of time, you must ask the court for a Preliminary Protective Order.
Where do I go to request a Preliminary Protective Order?
If the person from whom you want protection is a family or household member or a juvenile, or if you are a juvenile, you should go to the juvenile and domestic relations district court. Otherwise, you should go to the general district court.
How do I get a Preliminary Protective Order?
You must fill out court forms. If this matter will be in the juvenile and domestic relations district court, you file the forms with the Court Services Unit. If it will be in the general district court, you file the forms in the general district court clerk’s office. You then may go into a courtroom where a judge may ask you questions to decide whether to give you a Preliminary Protective Order.
18.2-57.2. Assault and Battery Against A Family or Household Member; penalty.
- 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.
- The definition of “family or household member” in § 16.1-228 applies to this section.
Robert L. Lichtenstein, Esquire
222 N. Main Street, Suite 300
Post Office Box 1447
Hopewell, Virginia 23860
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