Virginia Beach Domestic Violence Investigation

When police get involved in a domestic violence situation, they start an initial investigation. Law enforcement will interview witnesses and take statements from the alleged aggressor and victim. A prosecutor needs to decide to bring a case against the person accused of committing domestic violence. They have to believe that the individual committed the crime. A prosecutor needs to determine that the victim is willing to proceed with the case and appear in court. If the prosecutor decides to pursue the case, they will begin a Virginia Beach domestic violence investigation.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you should consult a local domestic violence attorney. An experienced attorney has the resources and knowledge to challenge the evidence and charges on behalf of their client. It is critical that you speak to a lawyer if you are building a defense case for domestic violence.

Proving Domestic Violence Charges

When domestic violence charges are brought against the defendant, there needs to be evidence. During the initial Virginia Beach domestic violence investigation, law enforcement collected statements, took photographs of necessary evidence, and compiled a detailed report. Police officials will also determine who was at fault. They also need to determine if the defendant is the primary aggressor. They do it through witness statements and through looking at the crime scene and any physical evidence to see was their injuries and was there any property damage. Law enforcement will try to determine that and often if they cannot determine who the aggressor was, they will charge both parties and let the judge sort it out.

A prosecutor has to show that the defendant committed some act and, depending on the type of charge, committed a battery of some sort or some violence against the complaining witness. The complaining witness needs to be a family or household member as defined by the Virginia Code.

Individuals on the Stand

Since the prosecution requires witnesses, they will call on the alleged victim to appear in court. There are benefits and challenges for the defendant when the alleged victim presents a statement for the court. When the individual is on the stand, the defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to ask them questions about what happened and if they believe that the alleged victim started the incident, the attorney has a chance to bring that up and to examine that fully. Often, defense lawyers are dealing with people who are inexperienced in testifying so that can work against the alleged victim. When the judge is determining guilt or innocence, they look at the temperament of the people testifying. If somebody comes off poorly on the stand, a judge will notice that and it can impact their decision.

It can be challenging if the prosecutor brings an alleged victim to the stand.  A well-coached complaining witness can be confident, well-spoken, and detrimental to a case because a judge listens to what they have to say and if the judge is moved by everything, that can hurt the person’s case.

Evidence Based Prosecution

The prosecution has to be able to show and have evidence that shows the case; if all that they have are witness statements, that can make it difficult because if it is a he-said/she-said case, judges have a hard time differentiating if an individual is telling the truth. If there is physical evidence indicating that somebody was injured and one person was more aggressive than the other, that can swing the case. A lot of prosecutors prefer to have some physical evidence backing them besides simple statements.

Importance of an Attorney

Domestic violence is taken more seriously than other criminal investigations. Police officials will stay at there longer because two people often know each other well. Law enforcement determined that it was a domestic violence case, and will be more alert during the initial Virginia Beach domestic violence investigation. Domestic violence convictions can have long-term consequences and impact employment opportunities, reputation, and other factors.

Having an exceptional attorney who can put together a timeline of what happened during the incident is crucial to presenting a defense case. Someone will want legal representation if they are facing domestic violence charges. Lawyers are trained to analyze situations and determine the person’s best course of action.  If you are facing domestic violence charges, consult an experienced attorney who will understand the process of a Virginia Beach domestic violence investigation.