Building a Defense For Domestic Violence Cases in Fairfax
Domestic assault is considered by Fairfax prosecutors to be a very serious offense. As such, it is prosecuted vigorously and prosecutors always look to punish these defendants who are convicted with active jail time. With this in mind, it is always a good idea for someone charged with domestic assault in Fairfax to hire a lawyer to go to court and fight for their freedom. In some cases where an assault did take place, an attorney can help by preparing them for court and by doing some things to minimize the damage that might take place when they get there.
If an assault did not take place, an attorney can prepare the individual and any other potential witnesses in case they have to go to trial and defend against the false charges.
Fighting a Domestic Violence Charge
Since every case is different, the best strategy for fighting a Fairfax domestic assault case depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding an individual case. It also depends on a number of variables such as to how best to prepare for court.
If the assault did not take place and if the person is the subject of a false accusation, lawyers need the story immediately to prepare to defend against these allegations at a trial. If, however, the person says the assault did take place, then the attorney will start working on damage control. In damage control mode there are a number of different things that a person can do to prepare themselves for court. First, they can enroll in some sort of anger management treatment or counseling to show both the court and the prosecutor that the person is serious about making sure that nothing like this ever happens again. There could be other recommendations, depending upon the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual case.
No matter what the facts of the case are, a plan should be in place once a client leaves their attorney’s office after their initial consultation. An individual can at least feel a little bit more secure that they have found an attorney to represent them in their case.
Evidence in a Domestic Assault Cases
The most common evidence is testimonial evidence, which is when the alleged victim of that assault testifies as to what happened. Very often that testimonial evidence is accompanied by visual evidence in the form of photographs that were taken either by the victim or by the police upon being called by the victim. Those photographs might contain evidence of some sort of wound or bruising that the victim alleges was a result of the assault.
In other cases there might be written evidence in the form of text messages or emails that might have been exchanged after the assault took place between the victim and the perpetrator. Very often the police will try to get the person alleged to have committed the assault to admit so in either text message or email by having the victim plead with their perpetrator to share some sort of apology or acknowledgement of what took place on the day in question.
Defense Side Evidence
It is hard to say exactly what evidence might be used in a case without knowing the specific facts of each individual case. Sometimes it could be eyewitnesses; sometimes there could be a recording of some kind. It depends on the allegation and the defense.
Any evidence could be helpful, including emails or text messages from the alleged victim. Even an acknowledgment that something was made up could be helpful. So could information an investigator learns from talking to some friends of the alleged victim to whom the victim might have confided that the assault did not in fact take place.
The most common defense in domestic assault cases is self-defense. If one partner strikes the other partner, and then they strike back and call the police, it would be considered a viable self-defense. Otherwise, the most common defense is that it did not happen at all.
Self-defense is called an affirmative defense in the law. An affirmative defense means the defendant in the criminal case would acknowledge that the assault took place. However, they would also claim that the assault took place in a way that was justifiable by law.
A self-defense justification means that the person who committed the assault did so under a reasonable fear of an impending assault of their own. For example, if a person is coming at another person and intending to assault them, and that is clear either by their words, their actions, or both, they have the right under the law to use reasonable force to defend themselves. That is self-defense.
Defense of Others
Defense of others is another affirmative defense under assault law. Essentially that claims the use of physical actions to protect another person from an impending assault. A classic example is a domestic situation. One parent commits a crime of assault against a child and the other parent sees what is happening and commits an assault against the other parent to prevent that parent from assaulting the child. If charged, the second parent could use the affirmative defense of “defense of others”.
Benefit of An Attorney
Every case is different and every case, no matter how bad it seems, can have good things that a defense attorney can seize upon to try to help better their client’s situation. In the case of a person who admitted to the assault, an experienced defense attorney will know the right steps to take to attempt to soften their landing when they get to court. Likewise, an experienced attorney will know how best to prepare a proper defense at trial if the defendant alleges that the assault did not take place.