New domestic violence laws took effect this summer in Virginia. Some important changes could make a difference if you are facing domestic violence charges.
One important change was greater penalties for certain kinds of violent acts. If someone if found guilty of strangling another person, which is any act that “impedes the blood circulation or respiration of another person by knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully applying pressure around the neck” is now guilty of a Class 6 felony. This crime used to be classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor and therefore the penalties were less severe.
The new laws passed also ammended the law to allow circuit courts jurisdiction to hear petitions to modify, dissolve or extend a permanent protective order if the circuit court issued the order.
The court will also be responsible, by the end of the business day of which the order was issued, enter and transfer electronically to the Virginia Criminal Information Network all pertinent information in any restraining order. Circuit courts not already using the VCIN have until July 1, 2013 to comply.
If you are facing any type of criminal charges, it is imperative to discuss your situation with a qualified and experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney. Call today for your free, confidential consultation.