What Evidence Do Prosecutors Use to Prove Simple Assault in Arlington

The following are frequently asked questions on simple assault charges in Arlington, VA and what evidence prosecutors need in order to secure a conviction. If you have been accused of simple assault call today and schedule a free consultation with an Arlington simple assault lawyer.

What Evidence Do Prosecutors Use to Prove Their Case in Arlington?

Prosecutors use every single possible bit of evidence they have or that you can think of to prove their case. More is better for the prosecutor since they have the burden of proof.

The most common form of evidence that prosecutors use is eye-witness testimony.  In an assault or assault and battery case that almost always includes the victim of the assault.

The Commonwealth also will usually call to the stand the police officer who investigated the offense. Since the officer made the arrest they usually are good witnesses for the prosecution because they have already determined in their mind that the defendant is guilty.

And of course, the prosecutor loves it when there is a third party independent witness who has no prejudice or bias toward either the defendant or the victim so that they can have an independent source to explain what happened that day.

Typically, when there is an assault or assault or battery that occurs, the victim is emotionally tied to the case, the defendant obviously is emotionally tied to the case, so the prosecutor loves to have an independent person who is not connected at all to the case to confirm their theory of the case.

The prosecution will also use video if it favorable to their side. They will use pictures. They will sometimes call medical experts to talk about the injuries someone received.

It is safe to say that prosecutors will use essentially any favorable evidence at all that can help them prove their case.

How Do Prosecutors Prove Intent?

Intent can be hard to prove. But in Virginia, there is a legal principle that states that a person intends the natural and probable consequences of their acts. Meaning, that when you punch someone in the face, it can be inferred that your intent was to hit them.

They use that legal principle. They also will use any statements a defendant has made that can be used against him or her. It is common sense that if a defendant says “I was angry and I hit him” that will be used against the defendant to prove intent.  But other statements by the defendant that aren’t so obvious will also be used, such as admissions to drinking, or admissions to being angry at the time of the assault. The Commonwealth can kind of pick and choose which statements are favorable to their side and use those at trial to help show intent.

Words said before, during and after the incident can all be used to show a defendant’s emotional state at the time of the offense. Were they angry? Were they stomping around? Were they making threats? All that will be sued to prove intent, along with the inference that somebody intends the natural consequences of actions they take.

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