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All Press Releases for January 10, 2014 »
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Domestic violence report for Fairfax County, VA: 1,665 arrested in 2013

Although a large number of individuals were arrested for domestic violence related crimes, the report does not specify how many were based on false accusations. Those who are falsely accused should take the charges seriously, as harsh penalties can apply.
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    January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Virginia takes domestic violence offenses seriously. In fact, Fairfax County recently conducted a review of domestic violence related calls, complaints, arrests and requests for protective orders to determine the extent of the issue in the area. According to the study's findings, over 150 arrests were made in Fairfax County for domestic violence offenses every month and 1,665 individuals were arrested for assault on a family member in 2013 alone.

Arrests do not prove guilt. In Virginia, police are required by state law to arrest a person they suspect may have committed a domestic assault and battery crime. As a result, false arrests can occur. It is unclear how many of the reported 1,665 arrests were the result of false accusations.

More on the domestic violence study

The report was released by the Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy, and Coordinating Council, or DVPPCC. The group is composed of community leaders and senior level public officials and is responsible for reviewing prevention and intervention options for domestic violence offenses in the Fairfax County area. This is done in a variety of ways, including encouraging the public to use the 24-hour hotline for sexual and domestic violence victims and supporting the Domestic Violence Action Center.

The statistics in the report were compiled based on numbers from county government and community non-profit organizations in the area including the Bethany House of Northern Virginia and the Fairfax County Police Department.

The police department reported 11,138 calls for service in 2013. The report does not outline how many of these calls were valid complaints.

Harsh penalties associated with charges

Those accused of a domestic violence crime should take the charges seriously. Virginia law allows for judges to issue harsh penalties to those convicted of domestic violence assault and battery crimes. These penalties can include up to one year imprisonment and a monetary penalty of $2,500 for the first offense.

Those convicted of three or more offenses face steeper penalties, including up to five years imprisonment.

Legal counsel can help

Although those who commit acts of domestic violence should be held accountable, those who are unfairly accused can receive the same harsh treatment as those who are guilty of these crimes. As a result, it is important for those who are falsely accused of domestic violence to pursue available defenses. These defenses can result in the reduction or even dismissal of charges.

If you are charged with this or a similar crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss your situation and help better ensure your legal rights are protected.

Article provided by Eddy Paul Rice, IV
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