Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads
Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads

What To Expect If You Are Charged With Domestic Violence

Arrested man in handcuffs.

A Virginia criminal defense lawyer can fight for your rights.

Police and prosecutors in Virginia take domestic violence cases very seriously. They will take action if they determine that a family member has been the victim of assault and battery. This includes spouses, former spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, biological parents, and any person who you have been living with.

Domestic violence cases can be complicated. If you are facing charges, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. It’s important to understand your rights and what to expect as the case moves forward.

The police are called to the scene

When police respond to a report of domestic violence, there is a procedure that they often follow. They will check to see if anyone is injured and call for medical assistance if needed. They will talk to the people involved and ask questions. They will also gather evidence at the scene. And if they determine there is probable cause, they will make an arrest.

If you have been arrested, the police will usually take you to the station for processing. However, sometimes the police may just issue you a summons to appear in court for your arraignment date. Police may also seek a 72-hour emergency protective order (EPO) against you.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence and an EPO is issued, you must abide by it. It can mean that you can’t go back home if the alleged victim is residing in the home still. You are not allowed to contact the alleged victim through any means. If you need to pick up any belongings, you need to go through your attorney or the police. If you do not follow the terms of the EPO, you could face additional charges.

The prosecutor’s office usually will take over the case and decide how to proceed.

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney

It’s important to consult a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible following your arrest. An attorney will explain your rights, the charges against you, and the potential penalties you are facing. A lawyer can let you know what to expect during the legal process and guide you through it every step of the way.

In addition, a criminal defense attorney can:

  • Evaluate the evidence – This includes police reports, witness statements, and any physical evidence. Your lawyer can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case.
  • Decide on a defense strategy – This may involve arguing self-defense, defense of others, challenging the credibility of the accuser, or disputing the evidence.
  • Suggest mitigation – Your attorney may recommend steps like attending counseling or therapy to show your commitment to addressing any underlying issues that contributed to the situation.
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor – Your lawyer may discuss alternative sentencing options, such as anger management classes, counseling, or community service, instead of jail time.
  • Argue your case in court – Your attorney can present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf during trial if necessary.

Take action to protect your rights

There’s a lot at stake if you are facing domestic violence charges. In Virginia, a first conviction can result in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A third conviction within 20 years is a class 6 felony and can mean 1 to 5 years in prison or up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. A no-contact order may be issued that prevents you from having any contact with the victim.

At Welch & Wright, PLLC, we make sure that every client receives the focus and attention they deserve for the charges they are facing. If you are facing domestic violence charges in Norfolk, Newport News, or anywhere else in Virginia, we know how to help.

Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will take your case seriously right from the start. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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