Depending on the type of assault and the level of the offense, the person will be released under their own recognizance, be held pursuant to bond, or held without bond in which case, an assault attorney will need to issue a motion to set bond or to release bond so that the individual is able to be released.
At that point, the individual will have a date. If it is a misdemeanor case, it will be set for trial in General District Court or in juvenile domestic relations court, depending on the type of alleged victim or the type of relationship between the defendant and the individual. If it is a felony against the protected class of people or there is some kind of aggravating circumstance, like a weapon, it will be set for preliminary hearing, which is where the prosecutor presents enough evidence to allow the Spotsylvania assault case to be bound over to Circuit Court for trial.
At that point, the preliminary hearing will be held in General District Court. If there is enough evidence, which there almost always is, they will go forward with the trial, which will be sent up to Circuit Court.
If somebody has injuries but is not considered the victim in the case, the police officers do not take pictures of defendant’s injuries or any kind of defensive wounds, especially if they were not the first aggressor. This is important in someone’s assault case in Spotsylvania because if the police have pictures of one individual and not the other and they make it to the court, the jury assumes that the other person is not injured at all. So if the defendant has any type of injury, they need to get documentation of it.
They also need to find anybody who saw them directly after the injury, which is only a day before, who can attest to the facts of the injury and say that the injury did occur at this incident. That is important because an individual needs to establish that the defendant was injured during the course of the event, which could potentially set up for an assault offense argument or need to combat argument.
Prosecutors will treat assault cases seriously. It is a serious threat to the community to have somebody assaulted, so they are going to prosecute the person harshly.
If there is some kind of special relationship or aggravating factor between the individuals involved in the assault, it gets bumped to a different type of assault case. Depending on the seriousness of the attempted injury, because assault is not going to be a completed action since that would be like the aggravated battery portion of it, and depending on certain documents and whether or not any weapons were involved, it is going to be treated even more seriously.
There are generally not going to be investigations for assault and battery cases in Spotsylvania. If somebody calls the police a couple of times, the police will respond that day and over the course of their investigation will ask the individual questions about that day. Sometimes police may arrest both parties or question both parties, however, It is rare that they will do any kind of comprehensive investigation on an assault case.
The prosecution is however, going to collect any evidence that officer has and take whatever the officer brought from the case, which is usually pictures and statements at the scene and witness testimony.
Somebody should expect that anything said to the officer and any statements made to the victim in the case can be used against them in trial. They should expect a lot of, “He said, she said.” The alleged victim may be citing their side of the case, which will be painted one way. They should also expect that they might not be able to get a chance to defend themselves, because it might not be the best idea for them to testify at court. It might be very frustrating for them to listen to being accused of something without making their statement.
There is going to be a lot of cross-examination done by their lawyer. That is where the important steps for assault cases are taking a part. When the prosecution is building a case, they build it mostly on testimony from the witness and eyewitness testimony from the officers that responded, and then assault attorneys try to break that down.
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