When police are called to a domestic disturbance involving any level of violence, they almost always make an arrest. However, it’s possible that an argument got out of control, a witness misunderstand the situation, or someone made false allegations against you. For these reasons, it’s important to understand the laws relating to a domestic assault arrest, the consequences you may be facing, and what possible defenses an attorney may employ in your favor.
Key Facts About a Domestic Assault Arrest
If you’re arrested for domestic assault, you may not know the serious consequences of a conviction. Here is a brief overview of some of those consequences:
- You could be prosecuted and convicted even if your spouse, partner, or other accuser wants to drop the charges.
- You could lose security clearance and/or employment, and a domestic assault conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life.
- Your family relationships may suffer, and the outcome in any divorce or child custody case—now or any time in the future—may not be in your favor.
Consequences of a Domestic Assault Arrest
If you’ve been arrested on assault charges, you face stiff penalties. Virginia law outlines the following punishments for those arrested on assault:
- You are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor
- You may spend up to 12 months in jail
- You may be fined up to $2,500
- You may not contact the complainant for up to 2 years
- You may be facing a temporary probation period—which may last up to 2 years
Possible Defenses of a Domestic Assault Arrest
If you’ve been arrested after an alleged domestic assault, a competent attorney may employ some effective defense strategies, including:
- Pictures or videos. By obtaining visual evidence of your injuries and the injuries of the complainant, your attorney may be able to show that you were defending yourself. For example, an expert witness may be able to testify in court that your wounds are consistent with those of a person trying to defend himself from an attacker.
- Witnesses. Bystanders and even police officers are good witnesses for getting both sides of the story. You and the complainant are biased, but the descriptions from a third-party witness of what he saw and heard may benefit the outcome of your case.
After an Arrest, You Need an Attorney Quickly
Because evidence is so important to your defense, it’s crucial to enlist the help of a skilled attorney as soon after an arrest. When you call your attorney, he can do the following to protect the successful outcome of your case:
- Report immediately to and investigate the scene of the alleged crime
- Preserve evidence from the scene by taking photos and videos
- Listen to each person’s story and search for evidence to verify the claims
Legal Help Is Available Now
If you believe you’re innocent of the domestic assault charge against you, contact the legal team at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi. We will listen to your situation and offer our years of experience in criminal law. If your goal is to negotiate for a sentence involving anger management counseling or probation rather than jail time, we will pursue that goal with determination. Call us at 877-652-1553.