From the moment you are arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, the prosecutor will start to build their case against you. Your defense attorney can’t do the same until you hire them. That is why it is so important to call Attorney James Short as soon as possible after your arrest. One of the first things we will do is get a copy of the police report. Here is what we are looking for.
Did the Police Have Probable Cause?
In Virginia, a police officer must have probable cause to arrest you. That is likely the first thing we will try to determine in building your defense. The officer must have had a reason to believe that you assaulted the accuser. This reason must be backed up with some kind of evidence, such as a 911 call, the victim’s statement, a witness’s statement, or other evidence discovered in the course of an investigation. The grounds for determining probable cause should be included in the police report. We will examine the police report for the following:
- Witnesses. If there were witnesses to the alleged assault, their names should be listed on the police report. Knowing whether other people are backing up the alleged victim’s accusations helps us decide what kind of defense to build.
- Communication trail. Do the police have possession of threatening text messages or voicemails? This could be strong evidence against you that will require an explanation.
- Accuser’s injuries. If the officers observe fresh injuries on the accuser, they will describe them in the report. They also might make note of bruises, casts, bandages, or other signs of older injuries.
- Your statements. What did you say to the police at the time of your arrest? We will read their accounting of your statement to determine our response.
If the evidence against you is indisputable, we will discuss your options. However, if the police report does not show probable cause or only offers thin evidence of your guilt, we will begin building a case for dismissal.
Don’t Delay in Contacting a Lawyer
The biggest mistake a person charged with domestic violence can make is to be so sure of their innocence that they say too much to the arresting officer. Our best advice is to say as little as possible until you talk to us. If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence in Chesapeake, Norfolk, or Virginia Beach, call James E. Short, PLC, right away. Your defense starts now!