Defense Strategies in Virginia Domestic Violence Cases
There are two big areas when creating defense strategies in Virginia domestic violence cases. The first defense strategy would be challenging the Commonwealth’s evidence in any way. Any time that a person is accused of domestic violence charges in Virginia, the government is going to have the burden of proof to demonstrate that each element of the offense occurred.
Attorneys are always challenging what they are saying happen and bringing forth their own evidence to challenge that evidence for the defense. There are opportunities for the police to violate the individual’s rights, whether it is an arrest made without probable cause or a search made without probable cause.
If these things occurred, it may open the door for a skilled domestic violence attorney to suppress evidence in the case, which may result in the case being dismissed or the charges being reduced.
Preparing a Defense in Virginia
It is always important to use someone local representation when preparing defense strategies in Virginia domestic violence cases. In Virginia, there are numerous defense tactics that are important in a criminal case there are many things to know and a lot of things to be considered. Some of the most important things to think about are the personalities that are involved, meaning who are the police, who are the judges, and who are the prosecutors.
Having an understanding of all of those personalities can make a crucial difference in a case in terms of selecting defense strategies and determining how to proceed in the domestic violence case. If the attorney representing the defendant does not have knowledge or familiarity with those personalities, they may overlook some of the most important things to do to assist the client in the case.
Self-defense in the realm of domestic violence is just like any other self-defense. In Virginia, if a person reasonably believes that they are about to imminently be assaulted or battered or harmed in some way or if they are in the midst of being assaulted or battered or attacked or harmed in some way, the person has the privilege to use proportional force to defend themselves.
For example, if a person is in a fist fight and receiving significant injuries to the point where they are unconscious or damaged in some significant way, the person may have the right to use a weapon. If a person is simply being pushed out of the door, the person may have the privilege to proportionally resist that, but under those circumstances, would not have the right to pull a gun and shoot.
Defense of Others
Defense of others is a defense strategy concept that goes hand and hand with self-defense and is very similar to self-defense. Essentially what the doctrine of defense of other says is that if a person would have the privilege of defending themselves, if the individual was the person being attacked, an outside party can step into the shoes of the victim and defend the person just as though that person could defend themselves.
Evidence and Witnesses
There are numerous types of evidence that attorneys look at when creating a defense strategy in Virginia domestic violence cases. Attorneys are always interested in witness testimony, which includes the testimony of the accuser and other people who may have been witnesses to what happened. In some cases, it is going to include the testimony of the accused, statements that made to other people, or statements made to the police.
There may be documentary evidence, whether it is text messages, phone calls logs, emails, or other things which may prove or disprove the accusation. Also, there is almost always physical evidence of some kind in a domestic violence case, including pictures of injuries and medical reports.
There are going to be things that attorneys look at which may tend to prove or disprove the allegations that have been made. For example, the photographs or medical records may show that the injury that the alleged victim is claiming could not have happened in the way that they claim that it did.
Domestic Violence Consequences
If a person is charged with domestic violence, the individual is facing something that has the potential to have significant short-term and long-term consequences. In the short term, domestic violence charges can put a person in jail, sometimes for significant periods of time.
Domestic violence charges are going to give a person a permanent criminal record. In some Virginia domestic violence cases, it may give a person a felony record. In either case, it can make it difficult for a person to retain their current employment and can make it difficult to get a work in the future.
The immediate consequences of domestic violence convictions in Virginia can be jail time, a fine, and in some cases the entry of a protective order that tells a person to stay away from the victim who may be a person the individual is living with, meaning they may be told to stay out of their own home.
The long-term consequences of a domestic violence conviction can be many. One is that a person is going to have a criminal record, which can affect the individual in a number of ways. In addition, a domestic violence conviction can affect a person’s custody case, visitation case, and not just one that is going now, but potentially one that goes on in the future.
The most important step to defense strategies in Virginia domestic violence cases is to contact counsel and take it seriously. These kinds of cases can have a lot of consequences. They can cause significant problems in people’s lives for being incarcerated and having a criminal record. With the assistance of an attorney, there are a lot of positive things that can be done early to help a person’s case and help a person avoid the most common kinds of mistakes that people make when dealing with these situations.