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Assault and Battery Against a Family Member

Virginia law is harsh when it comes to assault and battery against a family member and domestic violence as a whole. Most police departments have a “pro-arrest” policy for domestic violence calls and MUST MAKE AN ARREST if domestic violence is alleged. They most determine a predominant aggressor in the situation and that person will be taken to jail.

What is the crime of Assault and Battery against a Family Member?

Virginia Code 18.2-57.2 is the criminal statute that defines this offense. It has two basic elements that must be proven in court for a conviction: “assault and battery” and “against a family or household member.”

Assault and Battery is any unwanted touching or bodily hurt to another. This can include:

  • Poking
  • Pushing
  • Slapping/punching
  • Spitting
  • Throwing an object that hits another including liquids

Who is a Family Member under the law – VA Code 16.21-228 provides the legal definition for a “family member” and it is broader than traditional notion of a family member. It includes in the definition the following relationships:

  • Spouse or EX-SPOUSE
  • Parents/step-parents
  • Children/step-children
  • Brothers/sisters (of any blood relation)
  • Grandparents/grandchildren
  • In-laws (mother/father/sister/brother) if they reside with you
  • Anyone you have children with EVEN IF YOU NEVER MARRIED
  • Anyone you lived with in the last 12 months

Let’s go back to the police MUST MAKE AN ARREST! What else must happen? An emergency protective order must be issued! Most of the time this order will give your residence to the person alleging you committed a crime and tell you to stay away for the next 72 hours. You’re not allowed to have any contact with this person, this includes telephone from the jail or anywhere else and even social media.

Assault and Battery against a Family Member for Active Duty Military Personnel

If you are on active duty and you are charged with a domestic violence offense such as assault and battery against a family member or strangulation, Invictus Law is uniquely qualified to defend your case AND your career. Our team of Virginia Beach domestic violence defense lawyers includes over 25 years of military justice experience as former U.S. Marine Corps and Army JAGs. We fully understand the risk to your career and your security clearance. Due to our extensive experience and expertise as both civilian and military lawyers, we can help you navigate the civilian charges out in town – while at the same time advise you and advocate on your behalf to your chain of command to ensure that you have the best chance possible to remain on active duty and continue your career. Should your command decide to take any administrative action in the form of Non-Judicial Punishment (Article 15) or an Administrative Separation Hearing, we have decades of experience of advising and representing Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen. We are your best legal defense option if you want to continue to serve because we can fight for you on every legal battlefield.

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