If you have been charged with Domestic Assault or another crime of Domestic Violence in Fairfax or Northern Virginia . . .
The most important thing for you to do now is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You need someone who can give you sound advice on the best strategy for the defense of your case. Do not simply try to "work it out" with the complaining witness on your own without talking to a domestic violence defense attorney first. Domestic violence is a serious charge with impacts that go beyond the obvious fines and possible jail time. At the Sprano Law Firm in Fairfax, Virginia, our lawyers have almost three decades of combined experience fighting these charges. We have handled all types of domestic violence cases, including misdemeanor and felony domestic assault and battery charges, malicious wounding, abduction, and murder. We have taken literally hundreds of these cases to trial. We have a thorough knowledge of every possible defense and the skill to apply those defenses to your case at trial if applicable. If you are looking for a lawyer on a domestic violence charge in Fairfax, Prince William, Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun, or any other Northern Virginia court, call one of our attorneys today so we can put our experience to work for you.
Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges
If you have been arrested and charged with Domestic Assault, our lawyers will defend you in every way possible. Many times the accusation may be entirely fabricated and unjust, in which case the attorney must aggressively attack the credibility of the complaining witness to establish that you were falsely accused. Other times the alleged "victim" or complaining witness was actually the aggressor, while the person charged was only acting in self defense against a domestic assault. In such cases especially, it is vital to retain a defense lawyer who is knowledgeable about the law of self defense as it applies to domestic violence cases.
Another common situation is when both parties are equally at fault, but only one gets arrested for domestic violence and carried off to jail. If someone calls the police to report domestic violence, the responding officers have no choice -- mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence calls require the police to take someone to jail. It is simply a matter of deciding who the police consider the "primary aggressor." Once the police make their decision, it can be difficult to convince the prosecutor that they made a mistake -- difficult, but not impossible. Our lawyers will present your case to the prosecutor in the best possible light in an effort to get the charges dropped before trial. If this fails, we are always prepared to go to trial before a judge or jury, and we know how to win Not Guilty verdicts in these kinds of cases.
The Complaining Witness Cannot "Drop" the Charges
One of the most common mistakes people make in domestic assault cases is believing that the victim or complaining witness can decide whether or not to press charges. It is relatively routine for the victim or complaining witness to come to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court (JDR Court) on the trial date and tell the prosecutor that he or she wants to drop the charges. Without a skilled criminal defense attorney to advocate for the defendant, such cases almost always result in a domestic violence conviction. Once a person is arrested and charged with domestic assault, it is only the state, the Commonwealth of Virginia, who decides whether or not to press charges. Whether you hire us or another firm, we strongly advise you not to gamble with your future by going to court without a good lawyer at your side when so much is at stake!
Outcomes in Domestic Violence Cases
If you have been charged with domestic assault, there are only three ways to avoid having a domestic violence conviction on your criminal record: 1) convince the prosecutor to drop the charges; 2) convince a judge or jury to find you not guilty; or 3) if it is a 1st offense domestic violence charge, you may be eligible to have the charge dismissed after a successful period of probation and the completion of anger management classes. In the most common case in which the defendant just lost control in an isolated incident, the last option is often the most appropriate because it gives the person a second chance to avoid the consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
If this is not your first time in court on a domestic violence charge, if there are serious injuries, or if the case is charged as felony domestic abuse or malicious wounding, the stakes are of course much higher and a dismissal with probation may not be an option for you. Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is even more important in these cases. At the Sprano Law Firm, we have handled every type of domestic violence case imaginable -- from simple assault and battery all the way up to First Degree Murder. We know how to defend serious domestic violence cases and we know how to win.
While every case is different, one thing remains the same. It is absolutely essential to be represented by a good criminal defense lawyer with specific experience handling domestic violence cases.
Most domestic violence cases are decided by a judge, but sometimes it is necessary to take the case to a jury. Among the list of jury trial results for attorney Mike Sprano, you will see two Not Guilty verdicts in domestic violence cases. Included is a case in which he obtained a not guilty verdict for a man accused of assaulting his wife in a parking lot, despite the testimony of two disinterested eyewitnesses.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
To discuss your domestic violence charge with one of our trusted attorneys, call us at 703-763-0979 or send us an e-mail.
Our office is located near the Fairfax County courthouse. We are open for appointments Monday through Friday, and available by phone and e-mail seven days a week.
Spanish language service is available.
Code Sections: 18.2-57.2 (Domestic Assault & Battery, Class 1 Misdemeanor, 3rd offense Class 6 Felony); 18.2-57.3 (Probation); 16.2-228 (Definitions of family or household member); 18.2-51 (Malicious Wounding); 16.1-253.4 (Emergency Protective Order for Domestic Violence).