Prosecution of Virginia Domestic Violence Cases

During the prosecution of a Virginia domestic violence case, a prosecutor is going to bring a case against the person accused of domestic violence in situations where that person breaks the law. If a police officer is called and they come in, if there is probable cause for the person to be arrested for a domestic violence offense, that is when the prosecutors are going to bring it.

If you are facing a charge of domestic violence, it is important to work quickly to obtain the assistance of an experienced attorney. A Virginia domestic violence lawyer can build a case to help minimize any potential penalties you may face as your Virginia domestic violence case is prosecuted.

Dropping the Charge

The only person that can drop a Virginia domestic violence charge is the prosecutor, but they rarely do. They will not drop a case unless the individual says that they lied to the officer and open themselves up for filing a false police report, some obstruction of justice charges, or a similar cause.

Prosecution’s Case

The prosecution during a Virginia domestic violence case will base their case on various things depending on the charge.

Primarily, in domestic violence cases, the evidence that the prosecutor is going to use is going to be the testimony of the victim, pictures, and medical records if the medics were involved, and then also witnesses, eye witnesses, video evidence, and that kind of thing.

Mostly, it is going to be evidence presented from the alleged victim, so the victim’s statement and any pictures or injuries that the victim suffered.

Putting the Alleged Victim on the Stand

Domestic violence is an umbrella term that covers about 20 different charges, so what a prosecutor must demonstrate for a person to be convicted of domestic violence depends on the specific charge.

The prosecution during a Virginia domestic violence case is going to need the alleged victim on the stand in most situations because they need to get the account of what happened. The victim has to say what the defendant did to them.

The prosecutor is going to need to put them on the stand, which then opens them up for cross-examination, which allows an individual to have their story picked apart by an experienced defense attorney who can show them how to be not credible. In these types of situations, credibility is everything. If a judge does not believe a person who is claiming domestic violence, then they cannot find the defendant guilty.

Benefit of Testimony

Usually, putting the victim on the stand is super helpful because the victim looks sympathetic and a judge tends to believe a victim who is out there and willing to swear under oath that it happened. To prosecutors, it is an easy choice. They pretty much always put the victim on the stand. There is not a good reason not to do it.

For a defense attorney, it opens up the possibility for cross-examination, but, certainly, it is damaging to have somebody on the stand crying because they are afraid that their client hurt them. It presents no challenge to a prosecutor but, a lot of times, it does to a defense attorney.

Just because someone is testifying on the stand that they are a victim does not make the case impossible. It gives the defense attorney room to cross-examine and develop reasons that the victim could be lying.

Benefit of a Lawyer

During the prosecution of a domestic violence case in Virginia, it is important to have a lawyer that has a good relationship with the prosecution. This is because if the evidence is not an issue, if it is a situation where the evidence is pretty strong or pretty clear against the defense, an individual would want to try to make a deal with the prosecution.

If there is a deal with the prosecution that needs to be made, having a relationship with the prosecutor during a Virginia domestic violence case often gives an attorney the ability to have a deal that is better than what the prosecutor would offer somebody who did not have an attorney. It is all about that attorney’s relationship with that prosecutor in order to get a good deal in the case.

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