Virginia Domestic Violence Investigations
Domestic violence investigations are going to vary significantly on what the alleged domestic violence conduct is. If it is a felony offense, there is going to be a long-term investigation. If it was a simple assault, then the investigation might be brief. Virginia domestic violence investigations can involve sheriff’s deputies, detectives, forensic research, search warrants, DNA test, and lab results.
The main difference between domestic violence investigations from other criminal investigations is that domestic violence investigations are going to take place in the home. The investigation may act quickly for other reasons, the first of which being that a resolution in a domestic violence charge is important for everyone’s safety. Generally, one of the parties involved in the incident is leaving with the police. That is to make sure that the domestic violence does not happen again. Call a seasoned domestic violence lawyer if you have any questions about investigations and how an attorney could assist you during one.
How Does the Investigating Officer Determine the Primary Aggressor?
In Virginia domestic violence investigations, the officers work to determine who the primary aggressor is. Officers that respond to domestic violence calls are able to determine the primary aggressor because they have received specific domestic violence training or crisis intervention team training (CIT). They are trained to look for certain factors and interview or ask questions in a certain way. Many times, officers are going to come from the presumption that if a female is injured and a male is uninjured, the male is the aggressor.
Men are more likely to be the primary aggressor in a domestic violence situation. However, it is not always the case. There are many things that the officers must look at and consider.
Generally, the officers are going to focus on their training. They are going to talk to witnesses, look for evidence, and then look for things like destroyed property, offensive person, defensive wounds, consumption of alcohol or drugs, and inconsistencies in witness testimony.
Rights During an Investigation
During the investigation, a person maintains all their rights, meaning they have the right to remain silent. They are certainly obliged to identify themselves and provide identification to law enforcement if they are asked but they are not under any obligation to cooperate insofar as telling them what happened or allowing them to take pictures of their person. That being said, they do have to follow simple commands. If an officer tells them to move somewhere, they have to move. As far as answering questions, including questions that may be incriminating to them or may be incriminating to someone else, they can politely decline to answer the officer’s questions without fear of reprisal. Consult with a knowledgeable attorney for more information.
How a Virginia Lawyer Could Help During a Domestic Violence Investigation
Having a lawyer on a person’s side during every step of the investigation is crucial. During Virginia domestic violence investigations, the parties may be questioned about what happened. They might not be in the right frame of mind or have the right ability to answer questions in a favorable way. Fortunately, an attorney who is experienced in these questions could answer the investigatory questions to keep the person’s best interests in mind.