On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pled guilty to "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." They were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended on condition that the couple leave Virginia and not return together for at least 25 years.
After their conviction, the couple moved to the District of Columbia.
hoping to find them having sex, given that interracial sex was then also illegal in Virginia.
When the officers found the Lovings sleeping in their bed, Mildred pointed out their marriage certificate on the bedroom wall.
The court did not need to affirm the constitutionality of the ban on interracial marriage that was also part of Alabama's anti-miscegenation law, since the plaintiff, Mr. Kirby asked the state of Arizona for an annulment of his marriage. The court case involved a legal challenge over the conflicting wills that had been left by the late Allan Monks; an old one in favor of a friend named Ida Lee, and a newer one in favor of his wife.