Virginia Domestic Violence Arrests
Being accused of a criminal act is often overwhelming, especially if you have to face the arrest process. While the potential penalties for a charge of domestic violence may be severe, there are important steps to take during the initial arrest process.
Instead of trying to navigate the legal system alone, consider reaching out to a dedicated attorney to discuss Virginia domestic violence arrests. By working a lawyer who has knowledge of and experience with the legal process, you could avoid hastily rushing into an underprepared defense by first understanding your rights and how to best proceed.
When Arrests are Made in Virginia for Domestic Violence
Law enforcement officers will make an arrest if they can determine that an act of domestic violence took place and that one party was the primary aggressor. Usually, a team of officers will respond to a call and secure the area. Afterward, they will interview potential witnesses and begin conducting an investigation. After this, an arrest will usually be made on the basis of direct evidence or probable cause.
This is done for several reasons: first, to enforce the law and, second, to allow all parties involved to have a cooling off period to try to ensure that the situation does not escalate. Often, officers will make an arrest for an accusation of household violence and subsequently issue an emergency protective order.
The Arrest Process for Domestic Violence Charges
The arrests for an offense of domestic violence is similar to most other types of arrests. Usually, the person is arrested and read their Miranda rights. After being arrested, they are placed in law enforcement’s custody and transported to a local detention center, processed, and brought before a magistrate. However, the element that often makes a domestic violence case different from other arrests is that there is likely to be an emergency protective order issued at the time of the arrest warrant, as mentioned above.
These protective orders come with restrictions, including the inability to come into contact with the alleged victim, as well as a requirement that the person does not return to the residence at which the incident took place. For married couples or couples living together, this effectively means that the accused person has to find somewhere else to stay for a period of time.
Reasonable Fear of Imminent or Serious Physical Injuries
Reasonable fear of imminent or serious physical injury or death refers to the belief of the alleged victim during the time of the incident that is the central focus on the arrest. Usually, this is based upon the totality of the circumstances, meaning it is based upon the allegation itself, upon a consideration of how a reasonable person would act, and upon the individual’s history and present ability to follow through with a threat.
Refraining from Speaking with Police
Anytime someone is accused of a criminal offense, they can often benefit from waiting to talk to any law enforcement officers until they have an attorney on their side. This is because any law enforcement officer is there to conduct an investigation and, potentially, they might already believe that have enough probable cause to elicit certain facts from an accused individual to help build a case.
Because of these potential circumstances, an experienced attorney could advocate for the defense of an accused individual’s rights. Essentially, a legal advocate could help to inform them of their current legal standing and advise them against giving certain statements to any law officer during this stage of the legal process. They could then work with the defendant to establish their legal options for pursuing a defense.
How a Lawyer Might Help With Virginia Domestic Violence Arrests
The charge for domestic violence is a serious criminal offense, with potentially severe penalties. Because of this, anyone accused or arrested on this basis should consider contacting a Virginia lawyer to be by their side from the earliest moments of the arrest process.
If you were charged with or accused of domestic violence, consider speaking with a lawyer about how to navigate a Virginia domestic violence arrest. By enlisting the aid of a legal professional, you could consider your legal options and decide how to best proceed under your current circumstances. To discuss your case, call today.