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June 2015 Archives

Facing domestic violence charges despite false allegations

Domestic violence situations can often be chaotic and confusing for everyone involved, including law enforcement officials who report to the scene. When Virginia police respond to a domestic disturbance, they may issue domestic violence charges against you or your spouse.In many cases, an alleged victim of family violence who may have made false allegations against their spouse will want to drop the charges that have now been issued. It is important for those charged with domestic violence to know that the alleged victim is essentially powerless when it comes to dropping the charges. Once an officer or Virginia prosecutor has charged someone with domestic violence, it is up to the state to determine whether to go forward with your case or drop the charges.While the alleged victim cannot drop the charges, they can recant their original statement to investigators. This allows those who have lied to authorities about the events that occurred to come forward with the truth. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the case will be dropped against you. Prosecutors may use other evidence such as photographs and police reports to go forward with your case.In a criminal case, the prosecution will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition to the criminal case, an alleged victim may also choose to bring a civil suit against you. Civil suits only require a preponderance of evidence, which makes civil suits easier to win. However, criminal cases can also be won with a solid defense strategy in place. In criminal court, it is important to remember that you are innocent until you are proven guilty.

University of Virginia student has charges dropped

When you are charged with a crime, prosecutors will have to prove their case against you to secure a conviction. In United States courts, there is a presumption of "innocent until proven guilty." If prosecutors are unable to build a sufficient case, your charges may be dropped or dismissed. Establishing a solid criminal defense strategy can be exceptionally helpful in protecting yourself from severe consequences. Your side of the story can be heard thoroughly in front of the judge and jury. In some cases, your charges may be dropped before you even go to court.The arrest of a University of Virginia student earlier this year made national headlines. The 20-year-old student was outside a bar when law enforcement officials tackled him and arrested him. The young man was injured and received several stitches as a result of the arrest. The arresting officer said that the student was "very agitated and belligerent" at the time of the incident.The student faced various misdemeanor charges, including public swearing or intoxication and obstruction of justice without force. The student's attorney has maintained that the officers did not treat the student appropriately in the situation. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe required state police to investigate the situation shortly after the arrest. All charges facing the student have since been dropped. Interestingly, based on the evidence, the Commonwealth also found that the law enforcement officers involved should not face criminal charges.While facing criminal charges and allegations can be a frightening experience, cases like this prove that being charged with a crime in no way guarantees a criminal conviction. A criminal defense attorney can help a defendant understand the charges he or she is facing and what proper police conduct should consist of during an arrest.

We fight ardently for juveniles facing criminal allegations

Our blog post a few weeks ago touched on some of the differences between the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Though individuals facing allegations of wrongdoing potentially face serious penalties and long-term consequences regardless of the system in which they find themselves, each system does contain certain elements lacking in the other. Though the juvenile system may be a little more lenient and geared toward helping youth turn their lives around, if defendants do not adequately protect their rights, they could be hit with harsh penalties that drastically affect their lives.