In Virginia, assault on a family or household member is a separate criminal offense. It is often applied broadly to former roommates and others who have lived in the same location, even if they are not related. In Virginia Code § 18.2-57.2, the statute provides:
A. Any person who commits an assault and battery against a family or household member is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Upon a conviction for assault and battery against a family or household member, where it is alleged in the warrant, petition, information, or indictment on which a person is convicted, that such person has been previously convicted of two offenses against a family or household member of (i) assault and battery against a family or household member in violation of this section, (ii) malicious wounding or unlawful wounding in violation of § 18.2-51, (iii) aggravated malicious wounding in violation of § 18.2-51.2, (iv) malicious bodily injury by means of a substance in violation of § 18.2-52, (v) strangulation in violation of § 18.2-51.6, or (vi) an offense under the law of any other jurisdiction which has the same elements of any of the above offenses, in any combination, all of which occurred within a period of 20 years, and each of which occurred on a different date, such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.
The statute also requires the magistrate to issue an emergency protective order when someone is charged with assault on a household member. The dynamics of this offense are therefore more personal than other assault charges and each case must be handled with care.
If you or a family member or friend are charged with assault on a household member in Virginia, contact the law office today for a consultation.