Virginia Domestic Violence Investigations
Most domestic violence investigations are going to begin immediately after an incident has taken place where someone has called the police and complained about the conduct of someone else and the police went immediately and interviewed everyone involved, including the victim as well as the accused.
In addition to that, because of some unique features of Virginia law, in most cases, the police will determine who they believe the primary aggressor was and will arrest that person. When this occurs, the individual that is arrested should be aware of their legal rights and consult with a Virginia domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to defend themselves from these charges.
Determining the Primary Aggressor
A determination of who is the primary aggressor is a fairly subjective determination. Essentially, the police are trying to determine who started it, essentially; not the argument, but who was the first to turn the encounter physical. For example, who shoved who first, or who threw the first punch.
The person who escalates it to that level should be the one who is ultimately determined to be the primary aggressor. The degree to which one person is more violent plays a part and even the gender of the individuals can play a part in how police make that determination.
Unique Aspects of a Domestic Violence Investigation
The primary differences in a domestic violence investigation are the players. The police are going to be involved in any Virginia investigation but with domestic violence, in almost all circumstances, there is an alleged victim and an accused person who has some sort of close relationship to one another.
As the investigation goes forward, immediately in the wake of some sort of incident, police are conscious that they are interviewing people who understand that a conflict has just occurred.
Ultimately, in most cases, the individuals have positive feelings towards one another. It is also true that the accusing witness, by the time court comes around, is not cooperative. These leads want to gather as much information while it is all fresh and particularly to elicit statements from the accused which tend to incriminate them. This is critical to investigating domestic violence charges in Virginia.
Rights of an Individual
A person who is accused of a domestic violence crime maintains all of the rights that are guaranteed to them under the amendments to the United States constitution. Importantly, they have the Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizure.
During an investigation for a domestic violence charge in Virginia, an individual maintains all of the rights that are guaranteed to them by the amendments of the United States Constitution. That is going to include their rights under the Fourth Amendment to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures.
They are right under the Fifth Amendment to not be coerced into giving evidence against themselves. Their rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments allow them to have the assistance of an attorney at every important phase of the case, as well as in some cases, they are right under the Seventh Amendment to have their case be heard by a jury of their peers. Violations of these rights can be used when investigating a domestic violence charge in Virginia.
Importance of an Attorney
Domestic violence charges in Virginia are quite serious. Some domestic charges are felonies, other domestic charges are misdemeanors. Even the misdemeanors carry serious short-term as well as long-term consequences for the defendant. Because of that, this is not the kind of thing that anyone should try to fight alone.
It is important to use the best counsel a person can find to either beat their case or have their charges reduced or even, in some cases, simply lighten the impact of what the consequences may be. There are so many important decisions to be made at every facet of the investigative process of a Virginia domestic violence case and it is critical to have experienced advice to assist in making the best decisions the person can for themselves.