Charges of Domestic Violence
You need a spirited defense from a veteran attorney
Being charged with any violent crime can have major implications for your future, but that's doubly true if the charge involves domestic violence. In addition to facing steep fines and jail time, you might lose custody of your children and be cut off from your family. A domestic violence charge could ruin your career and your future.
To get the charges against you reduced or dismissed, you need a criminal defense attorney who knows the local court system and the law. Recht Law Offices has been serving the Weirton area since 1952. We know what it takes to fight a domestic violence charge, and we'll put our experience and resources to work for you.
West Virginia's definition of domestic violence
The definition of domestic assault or battery in West Virginia is the same action as simple assault and battery, committed against a relative or household member of the offender. Domestic violence includes assaults on all of the following:
- Current or former spouse of the offender
- Person who lives or has lived with the offender
- Person who is or was an intimate or sexual partner of the offender
- Person who is or was in a dating relationship with the offender
- Person who shares a child with the offender
- Person who is related to the offender by blood, adoption or marriage, which includes first and second cousins as well as aunts and uncles
The penalty for a first offense of domestic assault is up to six months in jail or a fine up to $100; for domestic battery, the penalties are up to one year in jail or a fine up to $500. In addition, the offender is required to pay restitution to the victim. These penalties escalate for subsequent offenses, and a third or subsequent offense is considered a felony.
How we handle domestic violence cases
Charges of domestic violence can be difficult to fight because they are so emotionally charged. Often, there are no independent or unbiased witnesses, and the decision to arrest may have been made based purely on who called the police first.
Under the law, you are presumed innocent, but often, the police investigating domestic violence cases are trained and instructed to treat you as though you are guilty. We'll conduct our own investigation and see if we can call the evidence against you into question to push for a dismissal of charges.
West Virginia law does provide some means for you to avoid the harshest penalties for domestic violence. In some jurisdictions, a domestic violence pre-trial diversion program will allow you to avoid facing charges for a first offense if you complete a period of probation. You also may be able to serve a suspended sentence, which means you can serve all or a portion of your jail time on probation instead.
Every domestic violence case is unique, and we'll work with you to find the best legal strategy for you and your family. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 1-800-487-8546.