Being charged with and convicted of domestic violence can be a life-altering occurrence. Domestic violence convictions will follow you for the rest of your life, and they can make you more likely to face strict penalties in the future if you are ever involved in an assault or other aggressive incident. That's why it's in your best interest to mount a reasonable defense if you are charged. Here's a look at what you need to know about defending yourself against a charge of domestic violence.
Did The Incident Happen?
The first thing that you should discuss with your criminal defense lawyer is whether or not the incident in question even happened. While incidences of domestic violence are serious and should be treated as such, that doesn't mean that false reports don't happen. If you are charged with domestic violence under a false report, your attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to prove that the incident never happened and clear your name.
Were You The Assailant?
If the incident in question did occur, and the victim did actually suffer a domestic assault, your criminal defense attorney will consider whether or not you were actually the assailant in the situation.
Sometimes, false identifications, confusion, and other issues can lead to the wrong person being arrested for an assault that occurred. If you were not the assailant, you should work with your lawyer to prove that you didn't do it, and also to potentially identify who did.
Do You Have An Alibi?
If you didn't commit the crime, you may want to gather as much evidence as you can to prove that you were somewhere else at the time. This is known as your alibi, and it's a vital part of getting your charges dismissed if you didn't do it.
Consider whether or not there were any witnesses that saw you somewhere else at the time of the assault. You might also have timestamped receipts or other documentation that can prove that you weren't there when it happened.
Were You Defending Yourself?
Sometimes, domestic violence charges stem from an assault that occurred when you were protecting yourself from serious bodily harm. If the altercation started out as a threat to your safety and well-being, make sure that you're clear about this with your attorney. They can claim self-defense and explain what happened.
These are a few of the most common ways to defend against domestic violence charges. If you're facing charges for domestic violence, consult to a criminal defense lawyer for help.