Being charged with domestic family violence charges in Virginia is a serious situation. The consequences can be far-reaching, such as being prevented from seeing your children. Immediate action on the part of the accused is essential.
Planning to make an apology or waiting to see if the charges will be dropped likely will not change the outcome. It is important to know that the state can and will prosecute domestic violence charges, even if the victim decides not to press charges.
Assault and battery charges
Assault and battery is the common charge in Virginia law for domestic abuse. Assault is the threat of physical harm while battery is the actual application of physical harm, which can include simple touching of another, whether on purpose or in anger. Child abuse and neglect and strangulation are other serious criminal charges related to family violence. Consent, touching, mistaken identity (“it wasn’t me”) and self-defense are common examples of defenses that may be available to you for certain charges.
Prince William County especially tough
Responding police take domestic abuse allegations seriously. In Prince William County, the police department was one of the first in the state with a mandatory arrest policy for domestic-related assaults. If the police officer determines enough probable causes exists that a crime has occurred, an arrest will be made.
Dangers of a temporary protective order
A temporary protective order may be issued before you have the chance to defend yourself.It can prevent you from seeing your children and could lead to serious consequences in a divorce or criminal case. The process is much less protective of legal rights than a criminal trial. Emergency protective orders are often issued quickly and with very little evidence. It’s important to take legal action if you feel you have been unfairly subject to a protective order.
Were your rights violated?
If your constitutional rights are violated while officers collect evidence of domestic abuse, the evidence may be excluded from court.
Did the police officer read you the Miranda warning (“You have the right to remain silent..”) when you were arrested or taken into custody? If not, any information you provide the police once taken into custody may not be used against you in most cases.
See also Searches, Seizures and Miranda Rights
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today to minimize penalties
Experienced Virginia domestic abuse lawyers Tracey Lenox and Michael Hollingsworth will explore all the facts to avoid conviction or minimize penalties in your case. They limit themselves to this type of work and know the local process and legal community that is involved. With offices in Woodbridge, Stafford and Manassas, we are convenient to all Northern Virginia locations. For a free, confidential consultation call 703-492-4200 or email us using our criminal defense attorney contact form.