DC Domestic Violence Lawyer

In the District of Columbia, domestic violence is frequently referred to as “intra-family violence” and, as such, it can include a variety of alleged actions, including assault, threats, battery, destruction of property, abuse, and theft. An intra-family offense can be alleged, for example, whenever the offender and victim are related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership, or even in situations where the offender and victim are roommates. These are extremely serious charges that carry the potential for devastating penalties. For this reason, if you have been charged with domestic violence in DC, you should speak with a DC domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. A defense lawyer in DC can look over the facts of your case and help build you the strongest defense possible. Call today to learn more.

DC Domestic Violence Charges

Certain responsibilities are placed on law enforcement to properly investigate complaints of intra-family violence. The alleged victims are usually granted protection orders, often soon after the allegation is made and, perhaps, before the defendant has a chance to be formally arraigned on the criminal charges.

If there was a minor argument with a family member that then escalated into an assault charge, this could now jeopardize your otherwise clean record. Convictions for a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence can leave a lasting mark that can impact your current and future employment opportunities and threaten your rights and potentially the custody of your children.

Additionally, domestic violence isn’t just charged as assault (even though this is the most common). Other examples of domestic violence charges are kidnapping, stalking, destruction of property, sexual abuse, and cruelty to children. They are prosecuted under the umbrella of domestic violence because of the relationship between the parties. These case are prosecuted by a specific subset in the United States Attorney’s Office and therefore requires attention from a domestic violence lawyer in DC.

Process of a Domestic Violence Case

Domestic violence situations almost always involve a call to the Police Department who respond to someone’s residence because some form of confrontation is ongoing or has just occurred. The police come and do their investigation and almost always make an arrest. Police are empowered to make an arrest if it appears that some form of domestic violence has occurred. They don’t necessarily need to wait to do a follow-up investigation, assign a detective, and see if there is enough evidence to go forward.

By law, the police can act on the side of caution in domestic violence situations and make an arrest. The parties know each other and have a relationship with each other which increases the chance that they are not just going to walk away and let the incident lie. There could be some kind of ongoing problem so in a domestic violation situation, if some form of confrontation occurred, property was broken, or some form of assault occurred, the police make an arrest, bring the individual to the court, and have the judge determine whether they must stay away from the complainant.

Following An Arrest

Typically, the Metropolitan Police Department is involved, with prosecutors from the domestic violence unit of the United States Attorney’s Office. After the initial court hearing, the case proceeds similarly to other cases. The initial hearing is an arraignment. There is a status hearing if it is a misdemeanor case. If it is a felony case, a presentment is followed by a preliminary hearing or detention hearing with your DC domestic violence attorney.

How Domestic Violence Cases Are Unique

Domestic violence cases can sometimes be difficult than other cases for a client because the person on the other side is someone they know which means there are usually strong emotions beyond the event itself. By definition, a case is domestic violence by virtue of the relationship between the complainant and defendant.

There could be a history of issues between the parties, and strong emotional relationships whether they are currently positive or negative. The parties have a connection and because of that, going through the case is much more difficult for the defendant. Clients are faced with criminal charges in addition to the emotional and mental challenges of the relationship they have with the other party. They are also face proceedings in criminal court and that is tough enough without the emotional component.

The emotions can swing pretty wildly within a single person and also between the two people. Everyone knows of situations where people have a tough go for a little while but then they make up. Unfortunately, however, one party still has a pending criminal case. That makes it very difficult on the client going through a domestic violence case.

Importance of a DC Domestic Violence Lawyer

A domestic violence lawyer in DC can protect your rights and guide you every step of the way through the legal process. That includes:

  • A complimentary evaluation of your case
  • A thorough examination of the charges
  • A stringent investigation of those complaints
  • Access to respected experts whose testimony can help build strong cases

All of these assets help build an aggressive game plan to file a motion dismissal of the charges before trial, or an aggressive argument for your innocence in court. If you believe it’s in your best interested to seek a plea agreement, your DC domestic violence attorney will be able to deftly maneuver for the least damaging penalties. Call now to schedule your free appointment and to begin defending your rights.