Domestic violence is a crime which involves assault and battery against a family member or household members along with certain other individuals. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court has jurisdiction to hear cases involving domestic violence while the General District Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate simple assault and battery cases. Now, the reason that this is important to the general public is because if you are the accused and a warrant has been issued to you requiring an appearance at court on a specified date – you must be certain to go to the right court on the correct date and at the stated time. Now - When this attorney is at the courthouse for whatever reason, it does not go unnoticed that individuals are often seen wandering the halls, looking lost, and completely unaware of how to proceed. Some reasons for this behavior are caused by the defendant’s state of mind at the time of arrest – and inability to process what is occurring, or loss of paperwork after arrest, miscommunication due to language barriers, or just unfamiliarity with the court process. What is important is for the accused is for he or she to hire the right attorney at beginning of the process to direct him or her in the right direction and to make sure the defendant appears at the right court and at the appropriate time. You don’t want to be late for court or miss court because you were charged with domestic violence and went to the General District Court rather than being at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court as required in The Commonwealth of Virginia. For missing court or being late can land you with “A Rule to Show Cause” or an additional new charge of “Failure to Appear”. A bench warrant may be issued if a defendant does not respond when his or her name is called - the Judge may refuse to withdraw the bench warrant even if defendant shows up later in the day. So, as you can see – it is important from the initial onset of the case to handle things right. A seasoned attorney with familiarity with the courts, someone like Attorney Sheryl Shane can guide you in the right direction. No one wants to sit in jail because a bench warrant was issued due to missing court or being late
Northern Virginia Courthouses and the courts handling Assault & Battery cases
Addressing physical familiarity with the layout of the courthouses regarding the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts – we can look at the different counties in Northern Virginia and discuss where to attend court for a “Domestic Violence” case.
Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
Current Judges: Hon. Todd Petit, Hob. Gayl Carr, Hon. Glenn Clayton, Hon. Kimberly Daniel, Hon. Janine Saxe, Hon. Thomas Sotelo, Hon. Maha-Rebekah Ramos Abejuela, and Hon. Jonathon Frieden.
If you have a domestic violence case and have been charged under VA Code Ann. § 18.2-57.2 (domestic violence ) you will want to try going to third floor of the Fairfax County Courthouse and ask the clerks at their station which courtroom your case is scheduled to be heard. Adults names are also usually found on boards mounted on the walls. Children’s names are often absent from the wall boards so you may have to wait in line and speak to the clerks directly to obtain correct information. If you are a parent or legal guardian of a minor child, be sure to bring identification so the clerks know they are legally able to provide you information regarding the child at issue. As to the VA Code Ann. § 18.2-57 Simple Assault & Battery cases (misdemeanors) in Fairfax County, the defendant will usually start the process on the first or second floor. This is where the General District Court Cases are heard. Appeals should be heard on the fourth or fifth floor. Of course, all of this is subject to change. But for now, this is the norm. Still, you really need someone familiar and who has your best interests at heart to handle the formalities. Handle things right from the onset. Correcting mistakes is much more difficult and costly. If you have the wrong outcome in a domestic violence case, there may be dire consequences especially if you are not a citizen of the United States. Call Attorney Sheryl Shane to legally guide you through the process.
Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
1425 North Courthouse Rd. Ste. 4100
Arlington, VA 22201
Current Judges: Hon. George Varoutsos and Hon. Robin Robb
The County of Arlington Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has their domestic relations court cases heard in two courtrooms located on the fourth floor. The clerks office is located just across the hall. Other assault and battery cases in Arlington which begin with General District Courts should first be heard on the second floor. There are four courtrooms to handle General District Court matters in Arlington. Now, although this attorney is providing current advice – it is all subject to change. One always need to check his or her paperwork and with clerks and look to the wall boards.
Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
9311 Lee Avenue, First Floor
Manassas, VA 20110
Current Judges: Hon. Helen Roltsch-Anoll, Hon. David Bailey, Hon. Lisa Baird, Hon. George Depolo, and Hon. Janice Wellington.
Prince William County – The Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court is on the first floor. So, this is where you should go if your case involves assault and battery on a family or household matter (VA Code Ann. § 18.2-57.2). The clerks office for this court is also on the first floor (directly on your left) as you enter the building. The Prince William Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court is located on the right. This information is a guide and must be firmed up when you go to the courthouse. In Prince William County, for the General District Court – you need to go up a flight of stairs or take the elevator to the second floor. Again – remember simple assaults charged under § 18.2-57 should be heard in General District Court.
Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
520 King Street, 1rst floor
Alexandria, VA 22314
Current Judges: Hon. Constance Frogale
The City of Alexandria has its own courthouse. It is important to note that some cases which arise in the County of Alexandria may be heard in the Fairfax Courts. The accused must check paperwork to locate the correct courthouse prior to court day. Do not go to the wrong court. When entering this Court house – the Juvenile and Domestic Court clerks and courtrooms are located on the first floor. The general district court is on the second. The City of Alexandria has four General District Court Rooms. Remember to look at your statute for which you are charged under. The statute and some wording on the warrant should inform you as to whether it is a domestic violence case or simple assault & battery case.
Loudon County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
18 E. Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176
Current Judges: Hon. Pamela Brooks, Hon. Avelina Jacob, Hon. Melissa Cupp
In Loudoun County – the court rooms are situated in a less defined manner. When you walk into the front of the courthouse – you of course walk through security. You then head to the right and go down the stairs. The first couple of court rooms will be General District Court on the right. You keep walking and you will go through a doorway. In the rear are the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Rooms. Remember to be clear which statute you are criminally charged under to determine which court has jurisdiction to hear your case. Loudoun County also post names on board affixed to the wall. The Clerks for general district court you can see on the right when you first enter the building. The Clerks for juvenile and domestic relations court are at the rear of the building just past their own courtrooms.
Stafford County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
1300 Courthouse Road
Stafford, VA 22555
Current Judges: Hon. Julian Johnson, Hon. Andrea Stewart, Hon. Joseph Vance IV, Hon. John Franklin, Hon. Shannon Hoehl, Hon. William Lewis, Hon. Georgia Sutton, and Hon. Frank Uvanni.
The Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts and the General District Courts are both on the first floor at the Stafford County Courthouse. The JD & R court is on the left and the others are on the right. One should always have an experienced attorney at this courthouse.
Fauquier Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
14 Main Street
Warrenton, VA 20186
Current Judges: Hon. Melissa Cupp, Hon. Palmela Brooks, Hon. Avelina Jacob
Adult trials are currently heard on Monday between 10:20 am and 12:00 noon and on Wednesdays 8:30 am – 12:00 noon. Juvenile Trials are normally heard Monday at 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm. Family abuse cases are scheduled at 1:00 pm – Monday through Friday. This schedule is subject to change.
Protective Orders that go along with Domestic Violence Charges
When an alleged domestic violence or simple assault and battery occur and police are called to the scene, a warrant is almost always issued to the person the police believe to be the instigator or to the person who used excessive force under the circumstances of the case. Police are most often alerted to the scene by the victim in the course of the assault or after the aggressor has left the scene. In other instances, there are witnesses who hear or see the events who telephone in order to prevent harm to any person or damage to property. Once a person is arrested, he or she will be taken to the magistrate to determine if he or she will be incarcerated or released. If incarcerated, the defendant will require an attorney to file a bond motion and ask for release. On some occasions, the defendant may be released earlier at an arraignment. What is important to note is that whenever a party is charged, there will be a temporary protective order entered against the defendant. What happens here is that so many times the defendant and alleged victim are so upset that they do not listen to what they are told or read documents properly while going through the process. And, if there is a protective order issued and the defendant fails to comply with the terms, new charges can arise. It does not matter which party initiated the contact. Failing to understand the terms of the protective order is not a defense. Call a family member (not the alleged victim) or friend and speak to an attorney before you speak to anyone else. Do not have them contact the alleged victim. Let Attorney Sheryl Shane advise you how to handle your arrest. You don’t want to make the wrong move.
Domestic Violation Prosecution
Police at the Scene and their actions involving Domestic Violence
We all know that family members argue. Sometimes things escalate. The police are called, and in these type of cases – the policy is to arrest the party the police believe to be the wrongdoer. Unfortunately, facts are not always clear. For instance, if the alleged instigator has left the scene, and failed to defend himself or herself; the warrant may be issued based on a one-sided story. This is not to say the accused should feel compelled to make a statement.
Oftentimes, statements made by the accused put them in a worse situation. But this is how the system works. Many times, the police will come to the scene and view injuries such as bruises, cuts, or bite marks and the other party may be the person arrested for domestic violence even if defending himself or herself if the personal originally accused shows no injury. This is how things work. Law enforcement has to make a judgment call. Don’t try to talk yourself out of trouble. You usually dig yourself into a deeper hole.
Often the named aggressor has left the scene and an arrest warrant has been issued.
Somehow he or she comes into this knowledge and learns that he or she needs to turn oneself in to be criminally processed. This is scary and in cases involving domestic violence – very worrisome to the non-citizen population, people with security clearances, and college students. A guilty finding of domestic violence is considered one of the most serious misdemeanor charges for immigrations purposes. People lose jobs if reported to employment or if the court case is discovered in a background check. Persons applying to universities or persons with scholarships may face additional hardship if it is discovered he or she has been involved in this type of crime. That is why it is so important to hire an attorney right away when facing domestic violence charges. You need to allow Attorney Sheryl Shane help keep you out of jail prior to and after the trial. Work wisely and with due diligence to reach a favorable outcome.
If you, a family member, household member, or friend were present at the scene, and made statements, it is of the utmost importance to address matters promptly and get the ball rolling to protect. Being arrested, wearing handcuffs, and facing jail is no laughing matter.
Domestic Violence involving police versus non-police
There are those rare occasions when police make a determination not to make an arrest or when a party waits too long after an alleged altercation to call police. In those instances the alleged victim may go to the magistrates office at a later time and file a complaint against the accused. It is the magistrate’s decision whether or not to allow the party to proceed.
Bond Motions for Domestic Violence
An assault and battery can be proved against a party for simply grabbing the phone from a spouse’s hand. The accused in this type of case usually is not held without bond on a first offense. An exception is if there is a detainer issued against the party from a different jurisdiction (when a different jurisdiction has a warrant out for the accused) or when the alleged victim has clearly been injured, threats and/or weapons involved, or if the accused is a repeat offender. A bond motion will probably need to be filed under these circumstances.
Hire Criminal Attorney Sheryl Shane to help in these matters. Be sure to take a step in the right direction. Although there is urgency – you want to fully prepare and handle the hearing right. The goal is to help the client meet his or her goal which will benefit best in the long run. If immigration advice is required. We can also help in this area of law.
A domestic violence trial may sometimes last only an hour or it may take days. The length of time should factor into account the number of witnesses, the technology utilized, and other types of evidence. There are no juries at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for domestic violence case. A defendant is entitled to a jury if he or she appeals to the higher court and request such.
Most of the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts in Northern Virginia area schedule several domestic violence cases in morning and several in the afternoon. This is done in hope that many cases will settle - out and the courtroom(s) will free up in order that only a few trials move forward. Now, there are those days where one trial which was scheduled for one hour
may last for hours or the entire day. When this happens – all the parties, witnesses, and support will either be transferred to another courtroom if one opens up or just have to sit and wait their turn. Therefore it is important to schedule your whole day devoted to the case. Better to be safe than sorry.
There are motions which may be researched, drafted, filed prior to the court date and those which may be made orally (with or without supporting documentation) during court. The Criminal Attorney and the Defendant should discuss strategy early on. Motions may address procedural or address substantive issues. Both should involve aforethought. You need to determine - Do you want a criminal attorney who looks deeply into every issue and attempts to win a trial or get the case dismissed or do you want someone who just tries to settle and can get you the best results with little work ie. a conviction without jail time. Look what is most important for you in the present and in the long run. These are issues which should be discussed with your attorney prior to entering into an agreement.
Appeals may be made from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court involving domestic violence cases. If an appeal is not filed within a timely manner – the right to do so will be lost.
Attorneys should be familiar with time requirements. Handle appeal process correctly and if you did lose your case at the lower court – you can get a second bite at the apple at the hire court.
Also beware, some prosecutors will agree to certain guilty findings if a defendant waives his or her right to an appeal at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Think wisely prior to signing off on these agreements. Whether they are valid or not – speak to your attorney.
Remember to call Sheryl Shane, The Virginia Criminal Attorney as soon you learn of a problem with the law. You can also text right away at tel. 703 582 8119. You will receive a quick response.
Motion to Reconsider
A motion to reconsider is a post-trial motion filed by the attorney to ask the court to reconsider sentencing or other matters. There is a time limit to file. Speak to Attorney Sheryl Shane to see is you can qualify. This may be your only option for asking for post-trial relief is the appeal date has already passed. Time is of the essence.