DC Spousal Abuse Lawyer 

DC spousal abuse is typically prosecuted under the District of Columbia domestic violence rules. Domestic violence is not considered to be its own charge, instead, domestic violence is a special court in the District of Columbia Superior Court that hears specific cases. Among those cases, there can be criminal charges in which a person is accusing a spouse or domestic partner of allegations of violence such as assault.

Even though there is no specific charge called spousal abuse, assault charges can be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia. The prosecutors may allege that a person committed the crime of assault against a spouse or domestic partner. The charges are prosecuted in the same way as any other simple assault charge. The standard of proof is exactly the same and the people involved are the same. The cases are filed by prosecutors as criminal charges as opposed to civil matters filed between two private individuals.

A DC spousal abuse lawyer is a knowledgeable resource in these matters. Contact an accomplished attorney to review your options.

Relationship Between Spousal Abuse and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, as it is treated in the District of Columbia, is not its own criminal charge. Domestic violence is a group of charges that depend on the relationship between the people involved. The domestic violence court is a specialty court in the District of Columbia Superior Court that handles certain kinds of cases with allegations made between people who share an intrafamily relationship.

Intrafamily Relationships

An intrafamily relationship consists of different types of relationships. Roommates with no familial relationship can be considered intrafamily because they share one domicile. People who had short-term sexual relationships can be deemed to have an intrafamily relationship. One common intrafamily relationship is the one that exists between spousal partners – people who are legally married. This is just one type of intrafamily relationship where, if there are allegations made by one member of the relationship against another, the criminal allegations are prosecuted by a domestic violence prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office. The charges are heard before a judge in the domestic violence section of the DC Superior Court.

A DC spousal lawyer can speak more towards domestic violence, spousal abuse, and intrafamily relationships.

Potential Consequences of Spousal Abuse

When a person makes an allegation of an assault, threat, or other criminal allegation against their spouse, law enforcement agents from the Metropolitan Police Department or other law enforcement agency in the District determine whether there is probable cause to arrest the suspect.

Probable cause is a low standard. It does not necessarily mean that the police have enough evidence to convict the person or that there is even enough evidence to prove the person most likely committed a crime. It simply means there is the lowest level of information available for the police to believe there is enough evidence to make an arrest.

Police Involvement

The police might conduct an investigation at the scene of an alleged crime such as the home where the spousal abuse may be occuring. An accusation might be made later on, or the police need more time to conduct an investigation and they are not able to make an arrest at the scene. While the police conduct their investigation, they may attempt to interrogate or interview the people involved. Sometimes, they conduct a limited investigation before deciding to make an arrest. If the police believe there is probable cause to presume that a suspect committed a crime, they are required to make an arrest under DC law.

Many people facing these charges are under the mistaken impression that it is up to an involved party whether to press charges or decline to press charges. This is a common misunderstanding. The decision to press charges is made solely by the police and sometimes by prosecutors at the US Attorney’s Office when they think there is enough evidence to prosecute a case.

When the authorities make the decision to press charges, in many situations they make an arrest and prosecute a case, sometimes without consulting the person who made the initial accusation. Once the police make an arrest, that begins the process where prosecutors with the United States Attorney’s Office prosecute the spouse on allegations of assault, threats, destruction of property, or the alleged crime made by the accuser in that matter.

How an Attorney Can Help Navigate the Process

A person accused of spousal abuse in DC can expect to go through a difficult process. They may be contacted by attorneys and police. There is the possibility that police could show up at their home or place of employment. Because of the number of variables, the most important thing a person should know when they are accused of a domestic criminal offense is to speak with a DC spousal abuse lawyer first.

Before speaking to police or attempting to speak with the accuser about the case, a person facing an accusation of spousal abuse or any domestic violence offense needs to talk to a lawyer first. A lawyer can help a person understand what is going on and can correct any misunderstandings the person might have. The lawyer can advise the person on the best course of action to take.

Hiring a DC spousal abuse lawyer is imperative in a case involving these types of allegations. The negative ramifications of a conviction are severe and long lasting. Therefore, it is advisable to retain the services of an experienced lawyer. Such an attorney will be well qualified to guide and advise you through the often confusing and overwhelming process. Their knowledge of due legal process, local laws, and strongest defenses will be invaluable in fighting the charges. If you are in need of assistance with a case, contact a DC spousal abuse lawyer as soon as possible.