Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

Richmond Capitol building and trees in the Capitol grounds

Statutes and Legislation: Family Abuse

Notable legislative changes effective July 1, 2012, are highlighted below.  For the full text of these Code sections, please click on the link to go to the Code of Virginia.  Please note that this list is not inclusive of all Code sections related to Civil Statutes and Protective Orders in Cases of Family Abuse.

Civil Statutes and Protective Orders in Cases of Family Abuse

§ 16.1-228. Definitions.  See "Family abuse" and "Family or household member."

§ 16.1-253.1. Preliminary protective orders in cases of family abuse; confidentiality.

§ 16.1-253.2. Violation of provisions of protective orders; penalty.

Effective July 1, 2012, this code section was amended to clarify which violations of family abuse protective orders are misdemeanor violations:

[A]ny person who violates any provision of a protective order issued pursuant to §§ 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-278.14, or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103, which when such violation involves a provision of the protective order that prohibits such person from (i) going or remaining upon land, buildings, or premises or from; (ii) further acts of family abuse; or (iii) committing a criminal offense, or which prohibits contacts between by the respondent and with the respondent's allegedly abused person or family or household member members of the allegedly abused person as the court deems appropriate, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. § 16.1-253.2.

§ 16.1-253.4. Emergency protective orders authorized in certain cases; penalty.

Effective July 1, 2012: The language regarding contacts of the respondent was clarified to prohibit contacts by the respondent with the allegedly abused person and  family or household members of the allegedly abused person, not family or household members of the respondent. 

§ 16.1-279.1. Protective order in cases of family abuse.

Effective July 1, 2012:  When a protective order is issued, the court, including a circuit court if the circuit court issued the order, is required to enter and transfer identifying information into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN).

 Effective July 1, 2013, any circuit court clerk who does not use the Statewide Case Management System operated and maintained by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall provide protective orders directly to the VCIN.

§ 16.1-264.A1. Service of summons; proof of service; penalty.  Emergency protective orders. 


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