Situations that lead to assault accusations are typically highly charged. One moment you are having a heated exchange and the next, emotions are getting the better of you. If someone has accused you of assault, you will justifiably be worried and stressed out, to say the least.
What you do (or fail to do) following an assault accusation can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Here are two costly missteps you want to avoid if you have been accused of assault in Virginia.
Not taking the accusation seriously
An assault accusation can stem from a range of altercations. Perhaps, you were defending yourself and acted in a manner that you deemed proportionate to the threat in question. Or, everything is made up by your accuser. Whatever the circumstances of your case, one of the worst mistakes you can make is failing to take the accusation seriously.
It is important to understand that assault, whether a misdemeanor or felony is a serious offense. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a conviction can lead to jail time, fines, diversion programs or even probation. Additionally, a conviction could leave a stain on your criminal record that can impact various aspects of your life like your career and reputation.
Rushing to plead guilty
It is not uncommon for people to want to resolve and put situations such as this behind as quietly and quickly as possible. For this, they might consider pleading guilty, paying the fines or community service and moving on with their lives.
While this might save you time and keep things out of the public eye, it could worsen your situation in the end. This charge will hang over your head for years and can return to haunt you, especially if your accuser is your spouse and your marriage ends in a divorce. They can simply cite your violent history when taking out an order of protection against you and lock you out of the marital home.
Protecting your rights
Being accused of assault is a big deal. If someone is accusing you of assault, it’s crucial that you know what to do to protect your rights.