Far too many people accused of domestic violence in Chesapeake don’t take the accusation seriously. They think they will be able to talk their significant other out of pressing charges or convince police officers that they didn’t do anything wrong. This kind of thinking is the fastest way to land in jail. The reality is that police and prosecutors take accusations of domestic violence very seriously, and if you don’t think defensively, you could end up with the harshest possible penalty.
Call a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer as Soon as Possible
While it might be true that you are entirely innocent and that your partner is making a false accusation, without a defense lawyer representing you from Day One, the case against you could get out of hand very quickly. Exercising your right to an attorney does not mean you are guilty; it just means that you are smart. The Virginia legal system will always take the side of the accuser, and police and prosecutors will do everything they can to get a conviction. If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact James E. Short, PLC, before answering any questions or offering any information.
What Penalties Do You Face?
The goal of a defense attorney is always to get the best possible outcome for their client. That could mean a dismissal of charges, a reduction to a lesser charge, a not guilty verdict at trial, or a reduced or suspended sentence upon conviction.
As your Virginia domestic violence legal team, we will try to help you avoid:
- Jail time. A misdemeanor offense carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail, while a felony conviction could land you in prison for up to five years.
- Fines. A fine of at least $2,500 could be imposed at the discretion of the court. This fine would be on top of your legal fees and, possibly, the legal fees of the accuser.
- Enhanced penalties. The court will consider aggravating circumstances, such as the severity of the injuries sustained by the accuser, and any other crimes that might have been committed in addition to the assault, such as breaking and entering or violating a protective order.
In addition to these court-issued penalties, people convicted of domestic violence often experience personal and professional consequences, including job loss, eviction, loss of a professional license, loss of child custody or visitation, and ostracism by friends and family.
What Can a Defense Lawyer Do for You?
Your defense lawyer will first and foremost fight for an acquittal, but if the evidence against you is too strong—or you have prior convictions for violent crimes—the next goal will be to argue for the minimum penalty. Your attorney might do this by presenting character witnesses, a clean police record, the accuser’s background, your professional accomplishments, and more to convince the judge that you do not deserve the harshest sentence. If this is your first domestic violence offense and your accuser was not seriously injured, the judge might sentence you to probation. Once you have fulfilled the conditions of your probation, the charges will be dismissed, and you will not have a criminal conviction on your record.
Attorney James E. Short Is Here for You
The wide scope of Virginia’s domestic violence laws could change an innocent domestic dispute into a criminal incident with long-lasting repercussions. If you find yourself facing an accusation of domestic violence, our criminal defense team can explain your options and aggressively defend you throughout your criminal case. There is simply too much at stake to risk your future with a lawyer who does not have experience with domestic violence cases. Even worse, thinking that hiring a lawyer will make you look more guilty or that you can defend yourself could land you in a much worse situation than you deserve.
Contact our office by phone at 757-410-5042 or online to have us get started on the best possible outcome.