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Soldier charged with assault in Virginia

Criminal charges can lead to unnecessarily hefty consequences without the right defense strategy in place. A domestic violence conviction in particular can lead to severe penalties and even charges of domestic assault can create a irreparable damage to one's reputation, even for the most respected citizens. A Fort Bragg solider is now facing multiple charges after an altercation with her husband and her husband's girlfriend.

The incident occurred when the soldier broke in to her husband's apartment through a bedroom window, armed with a handgun. A police officer reported that the soldier drove from Fort Bragg planning to take her own life in front of her husband and his girlfriend.

Her husband's roommate fled the home and called police. Meanwhile, the woman started banging on the husband's bedroom door and allegedly shot a bullet through the door. According to authorities, the man opened the door and took the gun away from his wife. It is then alleged that the woman proceeded to punch her husband's girlfriend.

The woman is now facing criminal charges including two counts of attempted malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm and assault and battery. She is currently being held without bail.

In certain emotionally charged situations, the insanity defense may be a useful criminal defense. Virginia uses the M'Naughten Rule which means that the burden of proof is on the defendant to show that he or she did not understand the actions because of a mental disease. Virginia also uses the Irresistible Impulse test which requires that the defendant show that he was unable to control his impulses and committed the crime due to a mental disease. Using a solid defense strategy doesn't try to undermine the seriousness of the wrongdoing, it simply provides a legal basis for demonstrating that some or all of the defendant's actions were outside the defendant's control. The defense strategy used in any particular case will depend on specific facts and it may be in the defendant's best interest to discuss these options with a professional.

Source: The Fayetteville Observer, "Virginia police charge Fort Bragg solider in assault," Sept. 18, 2013

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