A Dedicated Domestic Violence Attorney for Fairfax
If you have been charged with domestic violence, you should seek knowledgeable legal representation immediately. A skilled domestic violence lawyer can help you understand your legal options for fighting your case and advise you how to proceed with your criminal defense. Call B.R. HICKS, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced domestic violence attorney about your case.
Virginia’s First Offender Statute
Under Virginia law, citizens who have never been charged with a crime before may be eligible for treatment under the “first offender” statute that allows for the dismissal of a domestic violence charge after two years of probation. However, people employed as teachers, nurses, or child care providers can expect to not only lose their job, but also to be permanently barred from working in their chosen field following a conviction for domestic violence. Even if you end up not needing to hire an attorney, it’s always worth talking to one if you’ve been charged with domestic assault.
Probable Cause in Domestic Assault Cases
The officer who arrives on the scene has the authority to make an arrest based on their own judgement. It’s not always necessary for an alleged victim to exhibit obvious signs of abuse such as bruises for an officer to make an arrest for domestic violence. Also, an officer will often make an arrest even if things appear calm upon their arrival at the scene. If a neighbor or other relative called the police to report an act of domestic abuse, the police may make an arrest even if the alleged victim asks them not to!
Temporary and Permanent Protective Orders
If there’s not sufficient probable cause to make an arrest, the officer on the scene will generally advise the victim to go to a magistrate to obtain an emergency protective order (also known as a temporary protective order, or TPO) as well as a warrant. They will also order the alleged abuser to leave the premises. If the magistrate ends up issuing an arrest warrant, they will issue the TPO at the same time. The TPO, of course, gives the victim time to make alternate living arrangements. The victim will later have the opportunity to request a more permanent protective order that will remain in effect for up to two years. In such a situation, domestic legal issues such as child custody and division of property will need to be addressed independently of the accused’s criminal charges.
Let An Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney Handle Your Criminal Defense
Sometimes after an arrest for domestic violence, the victim may be reluctant to testify against the defendant; however, this doesn’t get the accused off the proverbial hook. Prosecutors may attempt to compel the alleged victim to testify. This is obviously a very difficult situation and should be handled with the utmost care. Let an experienced domestic assault attorney review your case and assist you in finding a way forward.
Women Are Not Immune From Charges of Domestic Violence
Keep in mind that although in the past most domestic violence charges involved male defendants, these days women are also commonly charged with domestic assault. If you are a woman who has been arrested for domestic violence, don’t expect your gender alone to vindicate you. Talk to a professional Fairfax domestic assault attorney as soon as possible.