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Building a Virginia Domestic Violence Defense 

Allegations of domestic violence can have an immediate impact on your life. Besides having personal and professional repercussions, the potential penalties you may face can be life-changing. That is why it is important to be proactive and act with haste.

If you are facing charges and want to start building a Virginia domestic violence defense, contact an adept defense lawyer right away.

Common Defense Strategies in Domestic Violence Cases

There are two big areas that attorneys look at in domestic violence cases. The first is challenging the Commonwealth’s evidence in any way. Any time that a person is accused of domestic violence, the government is going to have a burden of proof to demonstrate that each element of the offense occurred.

Attorneys can challenge what they are saying happened and bring forth their own evidence to challenge that evidence. In addition, as in a criminal case, there are opportunities for the police to violate individual’s rights, whether it is an arrest made without probable cause or a search made without probable cause.

If these things occurred, it may open the door for attorneys to suppress evidence in the case, which may result in the case being dismissed or the charges being reduced. Those are the two main strategies.

Self-Defense as Defined by Virginia Law

When building a Virginia domestic violence defense, it is important to understand the concept of self-defense and what it actually means. Within the context of domestic violence, self-defense functions the same way it would in any other case.

In Virginia, if a person reasonably believes that they are about to imminently be assaulted or battered or harmed in some way or if they are in the midst of being assaulted or battered or attacked or harmed in some way, the person has the privilege to use proportional force to defend themselves.

For example, if a person is in a fist fight and receiving significant injuries to the point where they are unconscious or damaged in some significant way, the person may have the right to use a weapon. If a person is simply being pushed out of the door, the person may have the privilege to proportionally resist that, but under those

If a person is simply being pushed out of the door, the person may have the privilege to proportionally resist that, but under those circumstances, would not have the right to pull a gun and shoot.

Defense of Others

Defense of others is a concept that goes hand and hand with self-defense and is very similar to self-defense. Essentially what the doctrine of defense of other says is that if a person would have the privilege of defending themselves, if they were the person being attacked, an outside party can step into the shoes of the victim and defend the person just as though that person could defend themselves.

Evidence Needed When Preparing a Defense

There are a number of kinds of evidence that attorneys look at when building a Virginia domestic violence defense. First, attorneys are always interested in witness testimony, which includes the testimony of the accuser and other people who may have been witnesses to what happened. In some cases, it is going to include the testimony of the accused, statements that made to other people, or statements made to the police.

In addition, there may be documentary evidence, whether it is text messages, phone calls logs, emails, or other things which may prove or disprove the accusation. Also, there is almost always physical evidence of some kind in a domestic violence case, including pictures of injuries and medical reports. There are going to be things that attorneys look at which may tend to prove or disprove the allegations that have been made. For example, the photographs or medical records may show that the injury that the alleged victim is claiming could not have happened in the way that they claim that it did.

Benefits of Consulting a Lawyer

It is always important to use a skilled attorney when building a Virginia domestic violence defense. Some of the most important things to think about are the personalities that are involved, meaning who are the police, who are the judges, and who are the prosecutors.

If the lawyer representing the defendant does not have knowledge or familiarity with those personalities, they may overlook some of the most important things to do to assist the client in the case.

Contact a skilled local attorney who has an understanding of all of those personalities and can make a crucial difference in a case in terms of selecting tactics and determining how to proceed going forward.

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