What Can I Expect From an Assault Trial in Virginia Beach?

If you or someone you know has been accused or investigated for an assault related offense you may not know what to expect in court. Luckily, a Virginia Beach assault lawyer is available to guide you through the legal process, while also advocating on your behalf.

Below are a series of frequently asked questions on what to expect in an assault case, answered by a Virginia Beach assault lawyer.

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What Does The State Need to Prove in An Assault Case?

The prosecutors have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty of the assault charged. They must prove that the defendant committed an intentional act with the purpose of putting someone in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm.

How Do They go About Presenting Their Case and Proving Their Case?

The prosecutors will present evidence in an attempt to convince the judge or a jury that the defendant is guilty of the charge. The biggest hurdle in assault cases for the prosecutor, is proving the defendant’s intent. If the defendant did not intend to commit assault, then the requisite elements of the assault charge are not fully met, and the defendant will be found not guilty. The prosecutor will try to prove the defendant’s intent by presenting their theory of the case, that is, their story of how the events took place. Meanwhile, the defense will try to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecutor’s version of events, in an attempt to convince the judge or jury otherwise. The prosecutor is the one with the burden of proof to demonstrate that the defendant should be found guilty.

What Types of Evidence Do You Typically See?

Assault cases usually have a lot of facts that are difficult to prove because the only people who witnessed the altercation were the two people that are at odds in the case therefore the majority of the evidence is offered directly as testimony.

How Do You Deal With The ‘He said’, ‘She said’ scenario?

In a situation where both parties are saying different things we try to bolster our client’s credibility while at the same time we are trying to diminish the credibility of the other side. If there is no other evidence besides each side’s version of the facts, then the best thing to do is to prove why the other side shouldn’t be believed and why our client should be.

This isn’t always easy to do without any other evidence but usually there is at least a few small pieces of evidence whether it be the police report of the crime scene or some text messages between the parties or injuries on a party.