Arlington Domestic Violence Investigations
Domestic violence investigations are primarily limited to the night of the offense. Upon reports from the alleged victim, a neighbor, or someone else that the domestic violence may be occurring, officers are going to show up and detail the investigation as best as they can. It is often the investigation begins and ends on the night of the offense and the officer has gathered all the evidence they need for that first night.It is common an officer may follow up after the charges have been filed if they may feel you have not been cooperative, or to make sure they have all of the facts of the case. It is important to have an attorney during any Arlington domestic violence investigation to have someone fighting for your rights throughout the process.
With that said, an officer may follow up after the charges have been filed if they may feel you have not been cooperative, or to make sure they have all of the facts of the case. For these reasons, even if the inital investigation is already completed it is still imperative to seek the counsel of an Arlington domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.
Determining Primary Aggressors
Law enforcement has a duty to gather evidence both that is inculpatory, which can establish guilt, and also exculpatory, which can exonerate the defendant of guilt. Wherever there is exculpatory evidence, the officers are bound to preserve that. In determining who the primary aggressor is and who should be charged with the crime of domestic violence, police officers are going to rely on their training.
They are also going to talk to the alleged parties involved to see what their condition is and determine whose facts and circumstances make sense. It is more common if a person has more visible injuries and is less able to appropriately tell their side of their story that they will be caught and charged with a crime of domestic violence.
Steps to Take If Accused
If someone is charged with a crime of domestic violence, the first thing they should do is contact an attorney who is experienced in defending domestic violence cases. A defense attorney will know the ins and outs of how prosecutors handle these cases, how the judge sees them, and what types of evidence and legal theories work best.
An attorney can also work with their client in establishing what type of evidence they may have available. They will go over what the elements of the offense are, what the commonwealth would prove in order to determine conviction, and what defenses they may have. They will go about their client’s obstacle at trial, whether or not a plea agreement is an appropriate angle to take, or whether or not the case goes to trial on the merits of the case.
The next thing someone should do in is to try to gather a narrative of what happened. They should try to remember basic details including names and dates and give that to their attorney right away so they can prepare for the case. They are not obligated to and should not deal with the pressure to speak with law enforcement about what happened in their case. They can invoke their right to remain silent and tell what really happen to their Arlington attorney. Their attorney can help then construct a valuable defense in the investigation.
Unique Aspects of Domestic Violence Investigations
Domestic violence investigations in Arlington differ from other general investigations because they may continue after the time of arrest for a crime of assault and battery of a family member even when the officer does not intentionally pursue it and take in more facts.
Because the party or parties involved may contact the officer and try to give them more information, it is common for people to try and explain their side of the story further once the situation has calmed down. It is common for a person to give the officer more information and incriminate themselves when they speak with an officer voluntarily after the fact.
The person accused of committing domestic violence has the right to remain silent and the right to be counseled by an attorney anytime. They should invoke these rights and not waive them.
Use of Evidence in Court
Domestic violence investigations can commonly cause a person to feel as if they have already been convicted when officers are brought out and they are charged with the crime of domestic violence, but this is not true. Americans are innocent until proven guilty, and an investigation is essential before any serious penalties are enacted.
When the person who calls and claims to be a victim of domestic violence has physical injuries and the officers arrive at the scene, the other person is viewed as the primary aggressor. Officers will understand how this may lead someone to feel their rights have been circumvented and they never got a fair say. However, that is what the trial is for as it presents the opportunity to present their version of the case to a judge, who must prove the facts against them beyond a reasonable doubt.