We all know that domestic violence is taken incredibly seriously by our nation’s courts, and rightly so. The reality is, however, that relationships can be volatile, and misunderstandings often arise. This is why it’s important for both men and women to have the best criminal defense available when facing domestic violence charges. Criminal defense attorneys are not only skilled at defending their clients from serious felonies, but they can also use a variety of strategies to defend against false accusations in domestic violence cases.
One of the most common and powerful defenses against a domestic violence charge is to question the credibility of the complainant. Your attorney will examine the physical evidence at the scene, such as any broken items and fingerprints. In addition, your lawyer will seek to establish whether any statements made by the complainant are inconsistent with their account of the events. They will also ask the prosecutor if the alleged victim has had prior incidents of aggression or verbal threats with their partner.
Often in DV cases, the majority of evidence is he said/she said. This is a problem because it can lead to the police and prosecutors mischarging someone with a felony. They may believe that a fight is taking place when in reality it is only screaming, finger pointing, and occasional pushing or grabbing. Likewise, a woman can be charged with a felony for defending herself from a man’s aggressiveness, even if the injuries are minor and only graze the skin.
The other main defense to a DV case is self-defense. To prove this, your attorney will seek to establish that it was reasonable for you to have believed a threat of harm was imminent. For example, if your partner yells at you to kill you or stab you with a pen because you ate all the salsa, it is reasonable for you to respond with force to protect yourself and others.
It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to over-charge a defendant in a Domestic Violence case, in order to coerce them into accepting a plea deal that will reduce the charge to a lesser offense. This is an incredibly unfair practice that must be fought at every turn by your criminal attorney. They will use their skill and knowledge to demonstrate why you should not and CANNOT be rushed into a plea. They will be able to identify the code sections that can be used to shield you from these practices. For this reason, it is important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. This will ensure that your rights are protected and the prosecution does not take advantage of you in any way.