5 Defenses When You’ve Been Charged with Domestic Violence

When you have been charged with domestic violence, one of the first things your criminal defense lawyer will do is review the evidence, including any police reports, in your case. Your criminal defense lawyer will do this for the purpose of determining what kinds of defenses are available to you. 

For example, if a police report states that you had injuries on your body at the time of the alleged domestic assault, this could be used to back up your claim that you acted in self-defense.

This is just one of several possible defenses to a domestic violence charge. It’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you are facing these types of charges. A conviction can have serious consequences, including damage to your reputation and career, as well as fines and the loss of your freedom.

5 Potential Defenses Against a Domestic Assault Charge

Each criminal case is different, and not every potential defense will apply in all cases. The attorney-client privilege protects your legal rights and also allow for your attorney to provide the best defense for your case. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to raise one or more of the following defenses. 

1. False Claims

It’s unfortunate, but there are a number of reasons why someone might lie about being the victim of a domestic assault. In some cases, an individual accuses a spouse or ex of domestic assault in an effort to sway a court’s decision in a child custody case. In other situations, a person makes a false claim of assault out of jealousy or revenge.

It’s always important for the police to investigate claims of domestic assault. It’s also important for prosecutors to bring charges when they uncover a credible claim of domestic violence. However, false claims make it more difficult for real victims to get the recognition and help they need.

If someone has filed false domestic assault charges against you, your lawyer can review the evidence in your case to help your defense.

In many cases, false claims involve inconsistencies in the accuser’s story. Experienced criminal defense lawyers know what to look for and how to put together a successful defense. 

2. Accidental Injuries 

In some cases, one or both parties sustained injuries, but the injuries are due to an accident rather than a deliberate physical altercation.

Just about every couple argues from time to time. When things get heated, it is easy to see how an accidental injury can occur that was not intended by the accused. There are many ways in which these scenarios can lead to accidental injuries.

For example, if a spouse accidentally falls during an argument and is injured, neither the fall, nor the injury, would be intended by the accused. 

3. Self-Defense

If you were attempting to defend yourself during a physical attack from your spouse or partner, you might be able to raise a self-defense argument in the domestic violence case against you. 

In these types of cases, it helps if you can show that you sustained defensive injuries, such as scratches or bruising consistent with throwing up your arms to defend your face.

In some cases, the alleged victim’s injuries might also indicate that the injuries were sustained while you acted in self-defense. It may be necessary to obtain expert testimony from a medical professional or other experts who can testify that certain injuries could only be sustained through self-defense.  

4. Prosecution Can’t Meet the Burden of Proof

It may also be possible to show that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden of proof. If the prosecution fails to meet this threshold, the court can’t convict you.

A criminal defense lawyer can explain the elements involved in the charges against you, as well as what the prosecution needs to prove to satisfy each element.  

5. Errors in the Police Investigation or Your Arrest

In some cases, a violation of your legal rights leads to evidence getting suppressed during a trial, which can lead to the charges against you being dropped.

For example, if the police engaged in misconduct or mistakes that caused evidence to become contaminated, the court must throw out that evidence, which means it can’t be used against you in court.

In other cases, a police error during a search or arrest requires the court to suppress certain evidence. For example, if the police conducted an illegal search, any evidence they collected pursuant to that search can’t be used against you during your case. 

Get Help from a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer

The penalties for a domestic violence conviction can be devastating to your professional career and your personal life. If you have been falsely accused of domestic assault, you deserve to tell your side of the story.

An experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer can help you defend your good name and reclaim your life. Don’t hesitate to contact a Texas criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling domestic violence cases. Contact Attorney John Helms in Dallas to discuss your case today.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney John Helms

Tel: (214) 666-8010