Defending Domestic Violence Charges in Fairfax
Domestic violence cases can impact a person’s reputation, their relationships with friends and family, and even impact their career. The best step a person in a domestic violence case can take to assist themselves is to contact an experienced domestic violence attorney right away. Experienced attorneys, especially those who practice regularly in the jurisdiction in which someone has been charged, know what to look for in these cases. They know how to handle them and they know how to develop their cases in order to give someone the best chance of success. If a person needs help defending domestic violence charges in Fairfax, they should speak with a determined domestic violence attorney that could fight for them.
Every case is unique and how a defense attorney prepares for each case is unique. However, there are going to be some guidelines that attorneys are going to follow for the vast majority of their cases. Some of these guidelines include trying to know as much as possible about the case, getting any witness statements that may be available, obtaining any statements that may have been made to law enforcement, any 911 calls, and things of that nature. In addition, if the alleged victim has changed their story, an attorney could work on obtaining that contradictory information that could be used for impeachment as well as learning about the positive side of the defendant. All of this information could be instrumental in defending domestic violence charges in Fairfax.
Common Defenses to Family Violence Charges
There are a variety of common defenses that are used in domestic violence cases depending on the facts and circumstances of the specific case. Some of the common arguments a defense attorney may make when defending domestic violence charges in Fairfax include self-defense, meaning that the person who was charged was not the primary aggressor and the actions they performed were in self-defense. There may also be a mistake of fact, meaning that the person who is alleged to have committed the offensive violence was not actually the correct person.
It may also be that their actions did not constitute a violation of law, that they were unintentional and that the person did not commit the crime as specifically alleged. Whether or not the facts meet the defined law is going to vary significantly on a case-by-case basis. An individual is going to want to look at the nuances of the warrant and the criminal complaint to figure out if the facts meet the law.
Self-Defense as a Defense
Self-defense under Fairfax law, as well as the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, means that the individual was acting in a way so as to not be the aggressor and to not aggravate the situation but instead to try and minimize the situation and protect themselves. In Virginia, an individual has the right to self-defense, but the factual circumstances of the case must be analyzed. The individual cannot be the aggressor in the situation and then claim that they were acting in self-defense. For example, the individual cannot throw the first punch unless there is an immediate fear of bodily harm or injury. Generally, to claim self-defense, an individual has to have no other option but to incur contact with the person.
Defense of Others as a Defense
Defense of others is sometimes a defense that arises in a domestic violence context. There must be an immediate, reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury to oneself or another in order to exercise self-defense or defense of others. An individual must feel that they had no other option but to engage the person in order to protect others who are not able to protect themselves and are unable to flee the situation. Defense of others is even more limited than self-defense.
Benefit of a Fairfax Domestic Violence Attorney
There are many benefits of working with a domestic violence lawyer, and they include understanding the local procedures by the law enforcement officers and how they gather their case. Local lawyers are going to understand local procedures of the commonwealth attorney’s office and how they prepare discovery. They should know how evidence can be reviewed and analyzed, are going to have relationships with the prosecutors, may know how best to present evidence and present arguments to different prosecutors. The attorney may also have experience and good relationships with the judges, may know how judges may rule on certain objections, may know which judges may be more beneficial for the certain facts, and may know how judges may rule on sentencing and how judges may interpret various issues of law such as self-defense, defense of others, mutual combat, and similar issues. If an individual needs help defending domestic violence charges in Fairfax, they should reach out to a knowledgeable attorney who could help.