Prince William County VA Domestic Violence Lawyer

Prince William County Domestic Violence Lawyer: Defending You Against Domestic Violence Charges

Prince William County VA Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence cases are a special brand of a case in Prince William County VA. If a household places a 911 call with a complaint of domestic violence when the police officer arrives, someone must get arrested, even when both parties have calmed down and pleaded that no arrest be made.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges are very cautious when handling domestic violence cases and will quickly make arrests to apply for restraining orders.

Typically, domestic violence is assault and battery against a family or a household member.

Domestic Violence Charges

  • First Offense Assault on Family or Household Member under § 18.2-57.3

Persons facing allegations of the first offense of assault and battery against a family or household member may be required to go on local community-based probation or other related programs.

  1. When a person is facing simple assault allegations where the victim is a family or household member, in violation of subsection A of § 18.2-57, or violates § 18.2-57.2, the court may put off the proceedings against such person for a period of time, without charging or convicting the defendant, and instead place the individual on probation.
  2. For a person to be eligible for such deferral, the court shall find that:
  3. The person was an adult when the offense took place
  4. The defendant has no record of conviction of any offense under this article or any statute of the United States that relates to domestic violence
  5. The person has no previous charges against him for violation of such an offense dismissed as provided in this section
  6. The person pleads guilty to, or enter a plea of not guilty or nolo contendere, and the court finds the evidence is sufficient to find the person guilty of simple assault in violation of subsection A of  §18.2-57 where the victim was a family or household member of the person  or a breach of  §18.2-57.2
  7. The person consents to such deferral.
  8. If a defendant is convicted or participates in a statutory first offender program, they may lose their right to possess firearms under federal laws regardless of whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony.
  9. If convicted, aside from the standard amount of fine and jail time, an individual may be subject to various civil or criminal protection orders for one or more years after the case. Violation of these court orders could result in further charges, effectively prolonging the underlying case.
  10. Despite obeying restriction orders, the court orders might result in losses of one’s residence, child custody right, and unfavorably affect pending divorce proceedings
  11. A conviction can also demand a long term supervised probation where the court requires the defendant to complete domestic abuse awareness or anger management programs to avoid further periods of incarceration
  12. Assault and battery against a family or household member is a misdemeanor offense that carries a potential sentence of $2500 in fine or up to one year in jail, even on the first offense.
  13. Subsequent offenses can result in stronger penalties and felony charges. Beyond the criminal penalties, the offender may face family destruction because children can be removed from the home

Given the numerous severe consequences that a domestic violence conviction presents to the accused person, it proves vital to contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Prince William County.

How to Prepare for A Domestic Violence Case

The most important step an individual can take to help their domestic violence case is:

  • Abide by the protective orders during the pendency of the case. This is because breaching a restraining order before the case is over is contempt of court. Contempt of court is punishable by a jail term or a fine. (Va. Code Ann. § § 16.1-253.1, 16.1-279.1.)
  • Lawfully preserve all the relevant evidence that a defendant can share with the attorney in the future. A skilled domestic violence lawyer may recommend certain mitigation activities to do before court dates, such as enrolling in therapy or domestic violence awareness programs.

Evidence in a Domestic Violence Case

Some of the most critical pieces of evidence involved in a domestic violence case are:

  • The defendant’s prior statements to police
  • Photographs of injuries that each of the parties sustained from the alleged domestic violence

If a defendant admitted to the charge when initially confronted by the police –and if the prosecution has pictures of injuries sustained by the alleged victim from the same time—then the testimony of the alleged accuser might not be needed for the trial to proceed with charges, despite the wishes of the alleged victim.

When the prior statements of each party are vague, the original 911 phone call recording could become a crucial piece of evidence, as well as the alleged victims’ trial testimony.

Common Defence Strategies For Domestic Violence Charges

When your lawyer determines that the police report is consistent with your defense, she will gather evidence to reinforce it. Domestic violence defense falls into:

  • Self-defense

Self-defense is one of the common defenses in domestic violence charges. The Virginia state law allows a person to repel an improper physical contact with reasonable force if a person honestly and reasonably perceives bodily harm by another.

However, the person who generates a confrontation can’t claim self-defense except on instances where one has tried retreat to deescalate the confrontation before resorting to the use of force. What’s more, the force that one uses during self-defense must also be reasonably proportionate to the threatened harmful contact.

  • Defense of others

Another defense that a defendant can use in Prince William County, VA, is the defense of others. This strategy posits that a person is allowed to defend another, only insofar as that the other person is allowed to defend themselves under the normal standard of legal self-defense. An attorney may also dispute the familial status of the alleged victim to the defendant in domestic violence charges.

Contact a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Prince William County, VA

If you are facing allegations of household abuse, it proves essential to hire a domestic violence lawyer immediately because of several reasons: these cases are usually emotionally charged, and the defender can make the matter worse by leaving angry messages on voicemail.

Having a domestic violence lawyer in place can help you negotiate better and more liberal restraining orders with the prosecutor by providing pertinent information which the prosecutor would otherwise not know.

Call an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Prince William county at NOVA Criminal Attorney of Jad Sarsour and learn what you can do.

Schedule A Free Case Consultation