Around 20,000 American victims of domestic abuse, phone abuse hotlines every day. And domestic violence conviction rates are increasing each year.
If someone accuses you falsely of domestic violence this can have devastating consequences.
In particular, it affects your chances of child custody, can lead to difficulty finding employment, and even result in jail time. If you need a domestic violence defense lawyer, then you need to get familiar with your possible defenses. And fast.
Read on to find out the seven common defenses against domestic violence charges.
If you can prove your innocence then you can disprove domestic violence charges.
This doesn’t just mean saying you didn’t do it. You have to prove you were elsewhere at the time of the alleged occurrence. Providing an alibi supports your innocence. After all, you couldn’t have done it if you weren’t there, could you?
If you have an injury following the altercation then your lawyer might argue self-defense.
This can prove that you were acting in response to a situation, rather than out of an abusive nature. However, you should be ready for the prosecution’s line of attack in this situation.
Many prosecutors will use battered woman or battered child syndrome to get a conviction. This puts the history of your relationship on trial.
3. Lack of Evidence
Domestic abuse cases often involve a lot of hearsay. This is because they often take place in the home so witnesses are scarce.
However, this can also work in favor of defending domestic abuse charges. If you can prove a lack of evidence then the prosecution won’t be able to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Discrediting the victim can also support a lack of evidence defense. A history of false accusations might support this.
4. Accidental Injury
This defense suggests that the victim’s injuries resulted from something other than abuse.
This helps to discredit medical evidence. It is difficult to prove exactly where a bruise came from without a witness. If you can provide evidence of other possible sources you create doubt.
For example, if the victim had been on a skiing trip or played contact sport they might have got the bruise there. Video evidence can also help to support this.
5. Result of the Alleged Victim’s Behavior
In this defense you plead guilty but as a result of the victim’s behavior.
Perhaps you had to act in order to prevent them from hurting themselves or others.
This defense will examine the victim’s history of anger or medical conditions. If the victim was previously abusive to other family members then you might have stepped in to stop them.
Witnesses that can support this explanation will massively help the defense.
6. Police Errors or Misconduct
Arresting suspects of domestic violence has increased conviction rates to 96%. But you can discredit the charges if police deviated from protocol in any way.
Examples of this include:
- Not recording interviews correctly
- Not reading your Miranda Rights, which results in anything you said after your arrest being inadmissible in court.
- Denying requests for a lawyer
- Questioning you after you invoked your right to remain silent
- Conducting searches without a warrant
Your lawyer will be able to run through other cases of police misconduct with you.
Finally, you might be able to argue consent.
This relates to your and the victim’s habits or hobbies. For example, if both of you took martial-arts classes this creates a basis for physical interactions. Your lawyer could argue that this created a consensual relationship for your action.
The Bottom Line
A solid domestic violence defense protects you from the devastating consequences of a conviction. For this, you’ll need an effective representative.
Contact Scott M. Brown and Associates Today!
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence and want to protect yourself from the devastating consequences of a conviction you need to start building your defense strategy today.
The attorneys at Scott M. Brown and Associates are ready to help. Call our Pearland location at (832)-956-1048 or Angleton location at (979)-472-7012 today!