4 Legitimate Defenses Against Domestic Violence Claims
No matter the charge, you always have the right to a criminal defense. In our system, you are convicted only if you’ve been found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
There is normally some room for doubt in any case. Even when it’s clear that the defendant committed the act in question, there may have been extenuating circumstances. Just because your hands did something, that doesn’t mean it was an intentional act of cruelty.
The cops would have you believe that a domestic violence case is “open-and-shut.” This is rarely true. Officers have room to leap to conclusions. They can even arrest someone for domestic violence when the alleged victim says nothing happened.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, don’t give up hope, and don’t take the charges lying down. Here are some potential defenses that you can discuss with your attorney.
1. The Accusations Are False
It’s uncomfortable to admit, but many domestic violence claims are untrue. A recent study suggests that as many as 20 million Americans were wrongfully accused in 2020.
When you didn’t commit a crime, the evidence should reveal this fact. Proof that you are innocent may include:
These days, it’s easier to trace someone’s journey. You may have receipts, a GPS history, witness statements, or even security footage that places you elsewhere at the time of the event.
Violent attacks leave specific injuries. The effects of a punch, for example, do not match the effects of a scratch. Your attorney could secure your accuser’s medical records, locating inconsistencies in their claims.
Violent acts often involve inanimate objects thrown or used as weapons. Just like with medical records, a close inspection of any alleged weapons or surrounding damage could reveal a different account.
2. It Was an Accident
In a heated exchange, people gesture wildly, throwing their hands and harms about. These situations can easily lead to an accidental strike. Out of anger, the person who received the blow can use it as an opportunity to make a false domestic violence claim.
3. You Acted in Self-Defense
You have the right to defend yourself, even from family members.
Self-defense is appropriate when:
- You believe you are in danger.
- The threat is immediate.
- Inaction could lead to injury.
- Your reaction is equal to the threat.
4. You Didn’t Know What Else to Do
For some, this claim may sound strange as a defense strategy. It is, in fact, a legitimate claim, and it has worked for many in domestic violence trials.
Imagine your partner is having a complete breakdown. They are out of control, throwing things, and screaming. You keep trying to talk them down, but nothing works. The children are frightened, and you’re concerned that your partner is going to hurt themselves or someone else. Out of desperation, you strike them.
If you experienced a similar situation, the court could have mercy on you. It recognizes that you are not a mental health professional, and desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, reach out to the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover today for help. You can call our office at (775) 502-1575 or contact us online.