Domestic Violence

Being charged with domestic family violence charges in Virginia is a serious situation. The consequences can be far-reaching, such as being prevented from seeing your children. Immediate action on the part of the accused is essential.

Planning to make an apology or waiting to see if the charges will be dropped likely will not change the outcome. It is important to know that the state can and will prosecute domestic violence charges, even if the victim decides not to press charges.

Assault and battery charges

Assault and battery is the common charge in Virginia law for domestic abuse. Assault is the threat of physical harm while battery is the actual application of physical harm, which can include simple touching of another, whether on purpose or in anger. Child abuse and neglect and strangulation are other serious criminal charges related to family violence. Consent, touching, mistaken identity (“it wasn’t me”) and self-defense are common examples of defenses that may be available to you for certain charges.

Prince William County especially tough

​​Responding police take domestic abuse allegations seriously. In Prince William County, the police department was one of the first in the state with a mandatory arrest policy for domestic-related assaults. If the police officer determines enough probable causes exists that a crime has occurred, an arrest will be made.

Dangers of a temporary protective order

A temporary protective order may be issued before you have the chance to defend yourself.It can prevent you from seeing your children and could lead to serious consequences in a divorce or criminal case. The process is much less protective of legal rights than a criminal trial. Emergency protective orders are often issued quickly and with very little evidence. It’s important to take legal action if you feel you have been unfairly subject to a protective order.

Were your rights violated?

If your constitutional rights are violated while officers collect evidence of domestic abuse, the evidence may be excluded from court.

Did the police officer read you the Miranda warning (“You have the right to remain silent..”) when you were arrested or taken into custody? If not, any information you provide the police once taken into custody may not be used against you in most cases.

See also Searches, Seizures and Miranda Rights

Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today to minimize penalties

Experienced Virginia domestic abuse lawyers Tracey Lenox and Michael Hollingsworth will explore all the facts to avoid conviction or minimize penalties in your case. They limit themselves to this type of work and know the local process and legal community that is involved. With offices in Woodbridge, Stafford and Manassas, we are convenient to all Northern Virginia locations. For a free, confidential consultation call 703-492-4200 or email us using our criminal defense attorney contact form.

Ready to get in touch? Contact Us Today
RECENT CASE RESULTS

RESOURCES

Best Lawyers® names Nichols Zauzig "Best Law Firm" Top Tier in Northern Virginia

Nichols Zauzig named 2019 U.S. News-Best Lawyers® Best Law Firm

| Alimony/Spousal Support, Automobile Accidents, Child Custody and Visitation, Child Pornography, Child Support, Criminal Defense, Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Equitable Distribtuion, Family Law/Divorce, Grandparent Custody/Visitation, International Matrimonial Law, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Rights Restoration, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses, Traumatic Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death | No Comments
For the 9th consecutive year, Nichols Zauzig Sandler is honored to be ranked in Tier 1 of the 2019 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list. Earning Tier…

How false allegations of abuse can impact your career and security clearance in Virginia

| Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses | No Comments
June 1, 2018 By: Tracey Lenox, Criminal Defense Attorney at Nichols Zauzig Sandler, P.C. Could you lose your security clearance, the trust and respect of friends and colleagues, or even…

Understanding Bond Bail Hearings and Pre-Trial Release

| Child Pornography, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses | No Comments
By: Michael Hollingsworth, Criminal Defense Attorney Under the U.S. Constitution, you are entitled to a reasonable bond unless there is cause to believe you are a flight risk or danger…

What to do if the police call you

| Child Pornography, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses | No Comments
A police detective has called and left you a message, asking you to please call him back. You have no idea why. You haven’t done anything illegal, or knowingly witnessed…

Cell phones, your privacy and the police: what’s the risk?

| Child Pornography, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, DUI, Firearms & Concealed Weapons, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Offenses | No Comments
Most of us know that smart phones and wireless plans can be costly.  But many people don’t realize the highest cost is not the monthly payment. Instead, it is the incalculable…

7 facts about being charged with domestic violence in Virginia

| Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Probation Violation, Protective Orders | No Comments
Domestic violence and abuse charges have been increasing across Northern Virginia and statewide. This month, Virginia Beach--the state's largest city-- gained attention for launching a domestic violence awareness campaign in response to two years of…

Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Tracey Lenox

| Child Pornography, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Protective Orders, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses | No Comments
Criminal Defense Attorney joined Nichols Zauzig in 2003. Find out why she decided on the field of law and who some of her biggest influences have been. ROOTS: Tracey grew up…

How to handle unjust domestic violence charges

| Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders | No Comments
Being unfairly charged with domestic family violence charges in Virginia is a serious situation. The consequences can be far-reaching, such as being prevented from seeing your children. Immediate action on the…

Unfair protective orders can be challenged

| Child Custody and Visitation, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders | No Comments
If you believe you are unfairly subject to a protective order in Virginia, it is important to take quick legal action. Violating the protective order, no matter how justified you feel, would…

Mental health court set to begin in Prince William County

| Domestic Violence | No Comments
Prince William County’s new mental health court is set to begin later this month. It will be the first in Northern Virginia and one of a handful in the state.…
Ready to get in touch? Contact Us Today

RESOURCES

Best Lawyers® names Nichols Zauzig "Best Law Firm" Top Tier in Northern Virginia

Nichols Zauzig named 2019 U.S. News-Best Lawyers® Best Law Firm

| Alimony/Spousal Support, Automobile Accidents, Child Custody and Visitation, Child Pornography, Child Support, Criminal Defense, Divorce and Separation, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Equitable Distribtuion, Family Law/Divorce, Grandparent Custody/Visitation, International Matrimonial Law, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Rights Restoration, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses, Traumatic Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death | No Comments
For the 9th consecutive year, Nichols Zauzig Sandler is honored to be ranked in Tier 1 of the 2019 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list. Earning Tier…

How false allegations of abuse can impact your career and security clearance in Virginia

| Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses | No Comments
June 1, 2018 By: Tracey Lenox, Criminal Defense Attorney at Nichols Zauzig Sandler, P.C. Could you lose your security clearance, the trust and respect of friends and colleagues, or even…

Understanding Bond Bail Hearings and Pre-Trial Release

| Child Pornography, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Sex Offenses, Theft Offenses | No Comments
By: Michael Hollingsworth, Criminal Defense Attorney Under the U.S. Constitution, you are entitled to a reasonable bond unless there is cause to believe you are a flight risk or danger…

What to do if the police call you

| Child Pornography, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses | No Comments
A police detective has called and left you a message, asking you to please call him back. You have no idea why. You haven’t done anything illegal, or knowingly witnessed…

Cell phones, your privacy and the police: what’s the risk?

| Child Pornography, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, DUI, Firearms & Concealed Weapons, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Probation Violation, Protective Orders, Search, Seizure & Miranda Rights, Sex Offenses | No Comments
Most of us know that smart phones and wireless plans can be costly.  But many people don’t realize the highest cost is not the monthly payment. Instead, it is the incalculable…

7 facts about being charged with domestic violence in Virginia

| Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Probation Violation, Protective Orders | No Comments
Domestic violence and abuse charges have been increasing across Northern Virginia and statewide. This month, Virginia Beach--the state's largest city-- gained attention for launching a domestic violence awareness campaign in response to two years of…

Getting Personal with Criminal Defense Attorney Tracey Lenox

| Child Pornography, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Drug Offenses, Malicious Wounding & Violent Offenses, Protective Orders, Sex Crimes Against Children, Sex Offenses | No Comments
Criminal Defense Attorney joined Nichols Zauzig in 2003. Find out why she decided on the field of law and who some of her biggest influences have been. ROOTS: Tracey grew up…

How to handle unjust domestic violence charges

| Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders | No Comments
Being unfairly charged with domestic family violence charges in Virginia is a serious situation. The consequences can be far-reaching, such as being prevented from seeing your children. Immediate action on the…

Unfair protective orders can be challenged

| Child Custody and Visitation, Domestic Violence, Protective Orders | No Comments
If you believe you are unfairly subject to a protective order in Virginia, it is important to take quick legal action. Violating the protective order, no matter how justified you feel, would…

Mental health court set to begin in Prince William County

| Domestic Violence | No Comments
Prince William County’s new mental health court is set to begin later this month. It will be the first in Northern Virginia and one of a handful in the state.…