In Virginia domestic violence criminal actions, an accuser is asking for the police to become involved in a situation either to alleviate a threat that exists or to ask that the accused be charged criminally in a case. Once an accusation is made, things can quickly shift out of the accuser’s hands into the hands of the police and ultimately into the hands of the prosecutor. The accuser just becomes a witness in that case and is not a party to that case whether they have any control over what happens from that moment forward.
It may be vital to your future to speak with a skilled domestic violence lawyer about defense against your charges. Contact a domestic violence attorney to understand these actions and to begin building a strong defense based on the facts of your case.
It is a common misconception in Virginia domestic violence criminal actions that an accuser can ask for the charges to be dropped or can determine that they do not want to pursue the case and that that would be the end of the case. This is not true. In Virginia, once a criminal charge is made, all of the discretion about whether a case will be pursued rests with the office of the commonwealth’s attorney in the county or city where the charges were brought.
A prosecutor has total discretion over what charges will it pursue and what charges it will not pursue, and while it is certainly true that an alleged victim can influence a prosecutor and will have input into that decision, it is common for a prosecutor to drop charges against the wishes of the accused. It is also not unusual for a prosecutor to go forward with the case against the wishes of the accused. For example, there are a number of cases where an accuser is an abusive situation and has suffered some significant harm but comes to court and asks the prosecutor to drop the case. The prosecutor can proceed with the case against their client’s will.
The biggest reason to limit contact with the accuser is that every contact becomes an opportunity for there to be additional accusations about behavior. Limiting contact during Virginia domestic violence criminal actions is important to avoid the creation of evidence that may be harmful. Any statements that are made in any of those conversations can potentially be used against the accused at trial. For that reason, once there is a criminal case ongoing, an attorney can encourage a potential client to create no additional evidence through their statements.
A potential client can be advised on how to not discuss any aspect of their case with anyone except for an attorney. Their attorney is the only person who cannot be compelled to testify against them during the trial. Speaking with experienced legal representation may be critical to obtaining the desired outcome of your case. They can review the facts of your case and speak on your behalf to ensure there is no self-incrimination.
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