Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
In cases of domestic violence, it can be difficult to agree upon an objective account of what occurred. If you are accused of domestic violence in Fairfax, working with a local attorney will allow you to make sure that your account of what happened is heard. By working with a domestic violence attorney, you can take advantage of their knowledge of common defense strategies in Fairfax domestic violence cases, and mount a solid case.
Common defense strategies in Fairfax domestic violence cases often rely on a disputing what happened and establishing a defense of harm approach. A lot of times, one party is trying to upset the other and they get into a verbal altercation that sometimes turns physical. Sometimes, that physicality can be an accident.
Sometimes, it can be a situation where the individual was just defending themselves from the other person and the other person just happened to call the police first. It depends on what the facts of the case are but the usual defense in these situations focuses on the accuracy of accounts of what happened.
Self-defense is an interesting area of the law in Virginia and it is been litigated back and forth, and there is a lot of case law that goes into it. But on its most basic level, a person is admitting to assault and battery but defending themselves by asserting that they resorted to force in order to defend themselves from an imminent battery, death, bodily injury, or sexual assault. In Virginia, the courts tend to consider whether running away is the only viable option or if defending oneself is a defensible response.
That is something that has to be litigated and explained through the court process: to what extent an individual tried to exhaust other means before they went ahead and touched the other person, injured the other person, or pushed the other person. But certainly, an individual has to be facing an imminent fear of bodily injury, sexual assault, or death in order to be able to claim self-defense.
The problem with self-defense is that an individual is claiming that they did the assault and battery and that is important to know. If an individual is saying, that they are guilty but that their actions are justified, the burden is on the defense to prove it and that becomes something that is tricky in court because they are admitting that they did the act but then they are trying to give an explanation that justified it under the law.
Defense of others is another interesting common defense strategy in a Fairfax domestic violence case, because there is a question in Virginia law about who an individual can defend but, certainly, the other person has to be facing serious bodily injury, sexual assault, or death. It is the same circumstances and it has to be imminent; it cannot just be some somebody yells a slur or something to somebody else. That is something that is offending but it does not justify an individual assaulting that other person. They have to be facing imminent and reasonable fear.
If somebody just happens to be a nervous person that has this fear, just having fear is not enough; it has to be reasonable fear. These are all determinations that the court has to make and the court additionally has to find that an individual knew about this fear and they had to act. These questions are specific, legal issues that are going to be fleshed out based on the circumstances of a case. But there certainly exists a justification of others and there exists self-defense in Virginia.
Working with a locally based attorney allows you to work with someone who has extensive knowledge of common defense strategies in Fairfax domestic violence cases and, can help you choose a strategy that will best suit your case.