What to Know About Domestic Violence Charges in Virginia

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What to Know About Domestic Violence Charges in Virginia

If you are facing the consequences of a domestic violence charge, you will need an experienced and dedicated Chesapeake domestic violence lawyer on your side. Our legal team is prepared with the knowledge required to ensure that you and your future are protected.

How does Virginia define domestic violence?

The state of Virginia emphasizes that anyone can commit an act of domestic violence no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, and more. With that being said, an act of “family abuse” or domestic violence in Virginia must occur between a family or household member. This includes the following:

  • A spouse
  • An ex-spouse
  • In-laws who reside in the same home
  • Co-habitants
  • People who have cohabited within the last year
  • Anyone who shares a child

To learn more about domestic violence, reach out to our firm today to speak with an experienced Chesapeake domestic violence lawyer today.

What should I do if I am a victim of domestic violence?

In Virginia, you may be able to obtain a protective order if you are a victim of domestic violence. It is important that you first call the police to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can help you file a protective order. A protective order allows you and any other victims involved to be protected from any form of contact or communication with the abuser. The state of Virginia has three kinds of protective orders available:

  • Emergency Protective Orders: This type of protective order is granted immediately after the act of violence happened, and are in place for up to 72 hours.
  • Preliminary Protective Orders: Once you have received your emergency protective order, you can request a preliminary protective order to increase the duration of the initial protective order to 14 days. In this case, you can also receive temporary possession of your home, a jointly owned vehicle, and temporary sole custody of your child.
  • Final Protective Orders: After you receive a preliminary protective order, you will need to appear in court within 14 days about making the temporary protective order final. So long as you can prove that you are a victim of domestic violence and have a legitimate fear for your safety, the court should grant a final protective order, which can last for up to two years.


Patzig Law is a dedicated Virginia law firm handling a variety of legal matters throughout the Commonwealth. We have significant experience in divorce, alimony, equitable distribution, child custody, and support. If you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney, our lawyers will fight to protect your rights in cases including DUIs, drug crimes, weapons offenses, fraud, theft, and much more. If you need a Chesapeake divorce lawyer to handle any of your family law matters, contact Patzig Law today.

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