Assault charges are taken incredibly seriously in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and defending such charges can sometimes be a challenge. However, there are a multitude of defenses available when an individual is up against an assault charge. Penalties for assault can range from varying degrees of fines and jail time, and can include detrimental impacts on a person’s professional and personal life.
Therefore, if you are facing assault charges, there is little time to waste before you need to contact an attorney. Defending Stafford County assault charges is not always easy, but the process can be exponentially sooner the earlier you contact an assault lawyer. The proper attorney can assist in crafting a strong defense, lessening any potential penalties you may be facing.
There are a number of defenses to assault charges. One of the most frequent things that an attorney will look at is the credibility of the accuser, as well as of any witnesses claiming an assault occurred. Further, an attorney can defend the assault charge by painting a picture to the court that there was no reason for that person to be in fear, or to believe that contact was imminent. They may also strive to prove that the individual was more sensitive than a reasonable person would be. In addition, consent can sometimes be a defense to assault.
Stafford County law enforcement treat assault crimes and arrests very seriously. Whenever there is the allegation of an assault, either violence or the threat of violence must have occurred. Because of that, law enforcement will respond quickly to these types of charges, and will treat them with as much seriousness and diligence as they can.
With assault charges, the investigation is not always incredibly long, but there is some investigation that needs to be done before an arrest. Most of these investigations begin with someone making a call to the police and claiming there has been some kind of assault or battery committed. Police will typically respond to a location, and then interview both the accused person as well as the alleged victim and other witnesses. Once the officers have everyone’s side of the story, they will determine who they believe was the primary aggressor, and may potentially issue a charge.
Primarily, the type of evidence gathered for assault is witness statements. This includes the statements of the alleged victim, any others who witnessed the set of events, and in some cases the accused. In addition, if it is an alleged crime which took place in a public location, such as a store or a restaurant, there may be video evidence of what occurred, which will be brought forward.
A lawyer can defend assault charges in a number of ways. Perhaps the most important defense is to call into question the credibility or the motive of the victim who is alleging they have been assaulted. In other words, an attorney will look for reasons why the victim may have bias against the accused.
Even when the facts are not in dispute, it can sometimes be argued that the assault was consented to in some way, or that the person who is claiming unreasonable apprehension of imminent harm is not actually reasonable in that belief, and that a reasonable person would not have viewed it in the same way.
An attorney may also defend assault charges by claiming the individual accused did not intend to give reasonable apprehension, or that they were acting in self-defense. There is an intent element that must be proved by the prosecution, and which can often be negated by the facts and circumstances. In addition, a person does have the privilege to defend themselves under certain circumstances, which can also negate the claim that an assault has been committed.
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