Domestic violence includes a wide range of criminal conduct, from pushing a roommate during a heated argument, to threatening a former spouse or throwing and hitting the person’s own child with an object. In most domestic violence cases, whether the accused is arrested and charged is commonly based on what the accuser asserts versus the accused’s version of events.
People that are accused of domestic violence are particularly vulnerable in the criminal justice system, and in many cases, an aggressive or creative legal advocate is the only way to get a favorable decision. For these reasons, if you have been accused of domestic violence, working with an experienced Prince William County domestic violence lawyer to refute the allegations that have been made against you is essential. Contact a professional lawyer today.
Although it is unfathomable for most people, there are people that falsely claim that they are or have been the receiver of domestic violence. The false allegation may be in anger because a relationship ended or because one party is mentally ill, among other reasons.
Further, it is not uncommon for one party to falsely claim that they are the receiver of domestic violence to appear more favorable in a divorce or other family law dispute. Additionally, if the person making a false claim reports it to the police, officers are required to investigate the validity of the allegations and the accused may be arrested.
When an individual is accused of domestic violence, in addition to facing criminal charges, they may also have an emergency order of protection issued against them.
An emergency protective order is a temporary court order that is designed to protect the receiver of domestic violence from their abusers when there is a reasonable belief that the individual is in immediate danger. An emergency order does not require that the accused or their representative be notified that it could be issued.
When a police officer or an accuser asserts under oath to a judge or magistrate that the accuser is or has been subjected to an act of violence, force, or a threat, the judge or magistrate can find that person to be in probable danger by the accused and issue an emergency protective order.
In Virginia, when the court orders the emergency protective order, it is only valid for three days or the business day after the third day, if the third day is on a weekend. If the accused is aware of the emergency order, there is some recourse. They can request a hearing to dissolve or modify the order, with assistance from a Prince William County domestic violence lawyer.
When a non-emergency protective order is sought, the process of obtaining the order is similar to other legal proceedings. Both parties receive notice of the time and date of the hearing, have the opportunity to present their case, and can ask questions of any witness that testifies.
Protective orders prohibit the accused from engaging in violence, contacting the accused, and anything else that the court deems necessary. This could mean that the accused cannot return to their home or cannot see their children without an intermediary because they are with the accuser and/or reside in the home, among other restrictions.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you are not alone. Speak with a Prince William County domestic violence lawyer who can help build the most robust defense possible for you and be behind you every step of the way.