Domestic Violence Questions & Answers by State

Domestic Violence Questions & Answers

Q: I have a question about domestic abuse by my husband that happened several months ago: I want to press charges

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Aug 16, 2012

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Call the police or go to your local Commonwealth Attorney's office to file charges. However, have a good explanation for why you have waited several months to file a complaint.

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Q: What would usually happen in a 2nd conviction (3 years later) domestic assault? Even if it is against a different person

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Jan 5, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
The case will depend on a lot of things, such as whether there were injuries to the victim, the defendant's criminal record etc. A local experienced criminal defense lawyer should be hired. Click on "find a lawyer".

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Q: What is the virginia state code regarding burden of proof in criminal cases?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Feb 8, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Beyond a reasonable doubt is what the Commonwealth/prosecutor must prove in order to get a conviction in VA. (Or in any state for that matter.)

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Q: Would a judge dissolve a protective order once the respondent been convicted of violating the order?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Feb 14, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
The protective order is for the benefit of the victim not the violator. No, a judge would not dissolve the protective order.

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Q: Does the state or victim press charges during a domestic dispute

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Mar 11, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
The state/police/Commonwealth has control of the domestic violence charge ("press charges") with the victim being the state witness. The charge will not automatically be dropped simply because the victim changed his or her mind.

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Q: Domestic violence occurred at my sons home with mother, what can i do

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Mar 28, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
You can make the call and if what you are saying is true, do it now. If in doubt, call an experienced criminal defense attorney for a free consult.

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Q: A friend is being held w/o bond on 4 charges-violating a protective order-w/no prior convictions-what could he be facing

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Mar 28, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Your friend should hired an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Click on "find a lawyer". Most will give free consultations.

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Q: Charged with class 1 Misdemeanor (assault and battery) with ex-girlfriend - can record be sealed or expunged

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Apr 14, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
The charge was likely dismissed under the "first offender" program. No it cannot be sealed or expunged. I have publish a Guide on expungements you might find useful: http://www.avvo.com//legal-guides/ugc/what-you-need-to-know-about-criminal-record-expungement-in-virignia .

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Q: My brother signed a paper stating that he didn't want a lawyer but now he does can he still get one?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Aug 8, 2011

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Your brother should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer and the lawyer will speak with the complainant. Click on "find a lawyer". Most lawyers will give free consults.

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Q: For 18.2.57.2 (household assult and battery), can it be pardoned after 5 years have passed?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Jan 2, 2012

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Pardoned? I think you mean can it be expunged. Section 18.2-57.3 specifically states that there can be no pardon for a first time charge. In fact, 18.2-57.2 speaks about 2 prior convictions for domestic assault within 20 years will result in the 3rd charge being classified as a Class 6 felony. I have published a

Guide on this subject: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-you-need-to-know-about-criminal-record-expungement-in-virginia .

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Q: An Assualt and Battery was taken under advisement for a period of 90 days then dissmissed, can it be expunged?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Apr 3, 2012

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
If the Judge found facts sufficient for guilt, despite the dismissal, the charge cannot be expunged. I published a Guide on expungement you might find useful: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-you-need-to-know-about-criminal-record-expungement-in-virginia .

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Q: What happens if your charged with assault and battery against family twice and the first one was put under advisement?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on May 6, 2012

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
A term of the unsupervised probation for the first charge is to be of good behavior. Conviction for another charge while under probation could negate the potential for dismissal and risk the court entered a conviction on the first charge. Your husband needs to speak to a lawyer immediately.

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Q: Do you need a reason to raise charges on a domestic violence case or can you do it "just because"?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Sep 24, 2012

Answered on Mar 31, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Not sure what your question is. Any charge must be based on alleged evidence not "just because".

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Q: I have no money and need a lawyer for a domestic abuse marriage. Who can help me?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Dec 2, 2012

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Depending on the county there are pro bono associations. Contact the county government information center for contact information.

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Q: Should i hire a lawyer for a domestic violence charge in Virginia? This is my first time ever being charged. Ever

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Jan 3, 2013

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Yes. Even first offender status eith dismissal means you can't expunge that charge. Click on "find a laeyer".

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Q: I was charged with domestic assault, which was dismissed. Can I buy a hand gun in Virginia?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Jan 6, 2013

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
No a felony and a dismissal. I don't see a problem.

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Q: My husband raped me 2 1/2 years ago can i file charges on him now

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Jan 23, 2013

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Your major problem is going to be why you eaited so long. (Prosecutor nightmare; defense gift). If you can explain the delay contact the police.

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Q: I am a respondent on a Protection Order. The petioner legally changed his name over a year ago, but used his old name

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Feb 16, 2013

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
Not certain what name changes will do but likely no change regarding protective order.

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Q: Hi! I have a question. I have subpoena and they want me to testify my husband. But what if I don't go to testify?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Maryland on Mar 22, 2015

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Evan M. Koslow's answer
If you are married and never invoked your marital privilege in the past you can advise the state attorney that you will be invoking your marital privilege. Even without your testimony the state attorney can still decide to prosecute if there is other evidence that can convict your husband.

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Q: Question about judge and commonwealth attorneys powers/abilities in domestic assault case - long question --

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Virginia on Mar 2, 2013

Answered on Mar 30, 2015

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Susan Fremit's answer
It will be up to the defendant to show malicious prosecution if this is what you are saying. The Judge won't just charge the claimant in your case if it is dismissed.

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