Any court case could be a terrifying process, but especially for those charged with crimes. An assault charge comes with tremendous stigma, and when a court day arrives, defendants might want to ask themselves if they have prepared as much as they can. An experienced attorney could help represent you and guide you through the Fredericksburg assault case process.
The amount of effort that law enforcement puts into an investigation often depends on the law enforcement officer themselves as well as the relationship between the complainant and the accused. In domestic assault situations, it is much more likely that the police will insert themselves into the situation. In a domestic assault situation in Virginia, police are required to separate the parties who are involved, which usually means somebody is taken to jail. Some jurisdictions require their officers to make an arrest when reporting to a domestic disturbance.
In other situations where there is simply a complaint made by one person against another, law enforcement officers who did not see any of the behavior take place and do not have any hard evidence of what took place will often not want to insert themselves into that investigation process. Officers may simply determine that there is no ongoing danger and advise both parties who are involved in a case that if they think it necessary, to go to the magistrate on their own accord and ask for the magistrate to issue a warrant of an alleged offender’s arrest. The reason for that is because, in many cases, a police officer hears conflicting stories and has no way to determine which of those stories is accurate.
There are exceptions where an officer may hear one story first, and assume the truthfulness of that story over any others presented. When this happens, there is minimal investigation, the result of which is sometimes more complicated and less agreeable. Because of this, it might be best to contact a seasoned defense counsel who could build a case.
In some cases, officers are more directly involved with alleged perpetrators. With assault and battery charges, and with some other minor misdemeanor charges, the process sometimes starts with a civilian complainant–officers become involved after a complaint is made.
In other instances, an officer could seek a warrant for an alleged wrong-doer by contacting a magistrate, obtaining a warrant as a peace officer, then proceed to enforce the law. After the warrant is issued, the process by which an assault is handled in Virginia is the same as any other misdemeanor. An individual is arraigned by the court, the court ensures that the individual understands that he or she has a right to an attorney present and understands the charges he or she is facing.
The next court appearance for a misdemeanor case in Virginia is typically for the trial. In an assault case, a defense attorney will have an opportunity to speak with a prosecutor, and often the complainant, about possible ways to resolve the case without going to trial. Ultimately, if an agreement is not reached between the parties, the court conducts a hearing to determine guilt and may possibly do that as early as the first court appearance, after the arraignment.
The processing portion of any criminal offense might test the resolve of individuals involved. For assault cases, it might be best to contact and employ an experienced attorney who could stand with you through the Fredericksburg assault case process. Reach out today because time is of the essence.
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