What If I’m Arrested After A False Charge of Domestic Violence?

by J.D. Garrett on June 1, 2013

When someone is arrested and charged with domestic violence in Virginia Beach, not only are they facing a permanent criminal record if convicted, but they will likely be under a protective order. As a matter of routine, all domestic violence charges in Virginia Beach initiate a temporary 72-hour (3 day) protective order. The individual is then barred from returning to their home, talking to their spouse, seeing their children, or even gathering their belongings needed for work.

Police Investigate The Charges When They Are Called And Don’t Arrest Without Evidence, Correct?

Not necessarily. Police officers who are called out to a domestic disturbance will usually talk to and look for visible injuries on both parties. However, our office has handled countless numbers of cases where the alleged victim has had no injuries, and the client had scratches and bruises. If the alleged victim is insisting that a domestic assault occurred, the police are more than likely going to make an arrest. Many times the police will even note in their report the lack of injuries to the victim, and injuries to the defendant, but they make the arrest anyway.

They Will Drop The Charges Once The Victim Cools Down And Tells Them She’s Fine, Right?

Once a 911 call is made to the police, the parties to any dispute have lost control over the situation. Once the police arrive, they have complete and sole discretion to make an arrest. They may ask the victim if she wants to “press charges”, but not only is it not necessary, they can go against their wishes. Virginia Beach prosecutors are also reluctant to drop any charge or domestic violence. Even if the victim tells them they want the charges dropped, or better yet, admits they lied about the report, the Commonwealth Attorney may consider that statement to be a lie and the initial report the truth.

If The Victim Lied To Police, They Will Be Charged With A Crime As Well, True?

Perhaps these cases are filed in the courts of the land of leprechauns and unicorns. I’ve been practicing criminal defense law in Virginia Beach for nearly a decade. Not only have I never handled a case where a victim was prosecuted for this charge, I’ve never seen or heard of a single victim being charged with making a false report to police. Prosecutors and battered women’s advocacy groups fear that if charges are brought against an alleged victim for reporting a false charge, battered women may fear making a report for legitimate domestic battery.

What Should I Do If My Spouse/Domestic Partner Threaten To Call Police?

You should immediately leave. Do not wait around for the situation to escalate. Go sleep at a friend or relative’s house, or get a hotel room if necessary. The cost and/or inconvenience will be far less than the alternative if the police are called – arrest, jail, posting bond, legal fees, court costs, mandatory counseling classes, loss of work.

Never under any circumstances, attempt to stop someone from calling the police! Not only will this fact be used against you if you are charged with domestic violence, you can be charged with an additional misdemeanor criminal charge. Once the police arrive, remain calm. Do not argue with your spouse while the police are present. Ask the police to make note of any evidence of innocence, including taking photos of any of your injuries. Do not give any statement to them regarding the allegations! Not only will it be unlikely to affect their decision to arrest you or not, it WILL be used against you in court. Never speak to police without the presence of an attorney.

Contact An Attorney For Domestic Violence Immediately!

This can not be stressed enough. There is evidence that might need to be collected and documented, especially if the police did not honor your request to collect any. Garrett Law Group, PLC has experienced domestic assault defense lawyers available to help you. (757) 422-4646. Your calls are answered 24/7/365. Call or contact us online today.


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