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May 7, 2022

Law

Five Possible Domestic Violence Defenses

Being charged with domestic assault can impact your life negatively. Besides facing the risk of going to jail, a felony or misdemeanor assault conviction can corrode your immigration status, professional license, livelihood, relationship,etc. But it’s never the end of the road, as you can fight to get your charges dismissed by leveraging the applicable domestic violence defenses with the help of an experienced attorney. 

Curious to learn more? Excellent! Please keep scrolling to learn about the five primary domestic violence defenses that can get you out of trouble. 

1. There is No Sufficient Evidence to Prove Your Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

If your defense is that there is no concrete proof of allegations against you or that the victim won’t testify for some reason, you may succeed in getting the charges dismissed. But the only way to be sure is to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney, who will establish the following material facts: 

  • What statement did you make at the scene, if any?
  • Did you make any threats to intimidate the victim from testifying?
  • Did you sustain any injuries? If so, were they only defensive injuries?
  • What is the prosecutor’s case built around? The victim’s claims?
  • Did the police report note that the scene caused property damage?
  • Is there physical evidence at the scene that could implicate you of assault?

The goal is to show that the prosecution has not met its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

2. You Did Not Commit Domestic Abuse

It is not uncommon for the police to arrest someone who did not have a hand in the crime in question. So getting charged or convicted of domestic abuse does not mean you committed the crime. Here are a few circumstances when that may be true:

  • You got caught in the middle of a heated argument between two other parties, e.g., close relatives.
  • The police officers responded to 911 calls from neighbors who witnessed the alleged attack.
  • You were not near the scene at the time of the attack.
  • The victim was just trying to avoid getting into trouble.

Regardless of the reason behind your arrest, however, there is always a chance that you could argue that you did nothing wrong. If you are accused of domestic abuse, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. They will explain how your situation differs from those listed above and what steps you need to take to defend yourself.

3. There is No Physical Evidence of Your Assault

Even if you are getting charged with domestic abuse, the chances are that the prosecutor cannot find sufficient evidence to convict you. This may be true if:

  • The police do not find any fingerprints, DNA, blood samples, or other physical evidence at the scene.
  • The police do not witness any injuries to the plaintiff’s face, neck, head, arms, legs, hands, feet, torso, back, stomach, chest, or genitals.
  • There are no photographs of your injuries.

Even if you are found guilty, the judge might decide that the punishment is too severe. In some cases, judges may reduce the charge to a lesser offense, which would allow you to plead down to a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

4. The Victim’s Behaviors Inspired Your Actions

Sometimes, your partner’s behavior may prompt you to act violently, even if it was not your intention. Here are a few circumstances that may lead to such an occurrence:

  • They have an uncontrollable temper
  • They constantly abuse the kids
  • They frequently get drunk and become violent
  • They have a medical condition that causes them to lose control over their emotions

So to help prove your innocence and get the charges dismissed, your domestic violence defenses lawyer will:

  • Check if there’s any evidence that the victim has a history of violence
  • Assess if the prosecutor can prove anything beyond she-said-he-said

5. You Were Acting in Self-Defense

A person has the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves against another individual who is threatening them with bodily harm. But this right must be balanced against the rights of others. For instance, it is illegal to shoot someone who is merely walking across the street.

However, if you have been charged with assaulting your wife or girlfriend, you may be able to argue that you acted in self-defense. So to help get you out of trouble by building a solid defense, your attorney will:

  • Check if the victim admits to having used violence in the police report
  • Check if some of the victim’s injuries support the self-defense claim on your part
  • Check if your story is consistent with the account you gave to the police
  • Check if you sustained any defensive injuries
  • Establish why the victim used violence

Final Remarks

There you have it! These are the top five domestic violence defenses you can leverage (as relevant to your case) to get your assault charges dismissed. Remember, effective collaboration with your domestic violence attorney is the recipe for success in your defense. Do not withhold any vital details, as it could play a crucial role in your case. You also don’t want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to your defense. The more information you provide, the better prepared your attorney will be to build a solid case for you.

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