Domestic assault charges clog the Virginia court system. Their concern is that an accused has forced the complainant not to seek a prosecution through threatened or actual violence.
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In some circumstances, the Commonwealth Attorney can compel the complainant to testify by threat of contempt of court. Contempt of court means that a person has violated a court order, which would in this case, would be failing to answer questions posed to them during trial. Such prosecutions can be sought mainly in two ways. The easiest way is when the Commonwealth Attorney has an independent witness that actually saw an accused commit the assault.
Another instance in which a victimless prosecution can be sought is if the accused confessed to the assault to law enforcement or another witness. Such evidence may be visible injury to the complaint, damaged property at the scene of the incident that would indicate a struggle, ripped clothing, etc. Given this, you must be keenly aware that even if your complainant does not seek a prosecution, you cannot simply sit back and assume your case will be dismissed. In Virginia, there are two levels of trial courts — district courts and circuit courts. JDR deals with my types of cases dealing with family matters or juveniles.
It also handles cases in which crimes are alleged between family or household members.
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Given that domestic assault requires the offense be committed upon a family or household member, it falls within JDR jurisdiction. When you are given your JDR trial date, that is the date during which your case will likely either be settled by way of a plea agreement or it will go to trial. However, you should never assume your trial date will be continued.
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During the time prior to trial, your attorney will prepare your case for trial. In Virginia, discovery is very limited. Exculpatory evidence means evidence that would show your lack of guilt is very limited in Virginia, and depends on the facts of each case. While some jurisdictions and CAs are more flexible, often times your attorney will not be able to speak with the CA about your case until the morning of trial. Did you know that friends and family can submit Support Letters to the court? When it does so, a new judge will hear your case, and the findings of the JDR court are not relevant.
Navigating the Virginia Criminal Justice System, from Arrest to Sentencing
If desired, the circuit court also provides you the option of having your case presented before a jury. Therefore, the right to appeal provides you an avenue of relief if the district court case did not go well. Do you need to speak to an attorney about a domestic assault case? Here's some really useful information. In Virginia, you can be convicted of domestic assault when two primary facts are established: 1 The complainant against you is a spouse, former spouse, household or family member; and 2 You either willfully touched the complainant, without legal justification, in a angry, rude, or vengeful manner; or you committed an overt act intended to harm the complainant with the ability to do so; or you committed an overt act meaning to place the complainant in fear of harm and that person was placed in fear of harm.
If you have been charged with a crime or you are appealing your conviction, you should contact us immediately. Hull Street Law a division of Thomas H.
Can I Get My Criminal Record Expunged In Virginia?
The materials are prepared for information purposes only. The materials are not legal advice and you should not act upon the information without seeking the advice of an attorney.
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