If you’ve ever gotten into a dispute with a spouse, a significant other, or a family member, then you know that things can quickly get out of hand and become much more contentious than you initially intended. Sometimes when that happens, the matter turns physical, and someone ends up with injuries. Allegations of criminal wrongdoing and domestic violence criminal charges can soon follow. If you don’t know how to appropriately defend yourself, then you could face conviction and the harsh penalties associated with it.
Once charges are filed, the prosecution is going to try to use the evidence they have to try to leverage you into a plea deal. Don’t accept one of these agreements without first analyzing your defense options. Besides, you might be able to defeat the prosecution’s case and avoid penalties altogether.
Defense strategies in a domestic violence case
You might have several defense options if you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime. These include:
- Claiming that you didn’t commit the acts in question: In many domestic violence cases, the victim levies allegations to get back at the accused simply because they’re mad. Don’t let lies lead to conviction in your domestic violence case. Instead, figure out if there’s a way to directly challenge the truthfulness of the prosecution’s evidence, such as by attacking the credibility of the victim’s statements and analyzing 911 calls to identify inconsistencies. You may even be able to provide an alibi that makes it impossible for you to have committed the crime in question.
- Arguing that the incident was an accident: For the prosecutor to obtain a conviction, they’re going to have to prove intent. If the evidence supports an argument that the injuries were accidentally inflicted, then you might be off the hook as it pertains to the domestic violence criminal charges that you’re facing.
- Presenting evidence that you were engaging in self-defense: One of the most effective ways to defend yourself in a domestic violence case is to argue self-defense. Under Missouri law, you can exercise reasonable physical force if doing so is necessary to protect yourself or someone else from the imminent use of unlawful force. Just remember that you’re not going to be able to raise a self-defense argument if you were the initial aggressor or if the other person withdrew from the conflict and you continued to pursue it.
- Showing investigatory errors: Even if the evidence against you seems overwhelming and difficult to escape, you might be able to block key evidence from being used against you by highlighting police errors. For example, if you were interrogated without being read your rights, then you can prevent the prosecution from using incriminating statements that you made during that interrogation against you. Make sure you thoroughly analyze the facts of your case to see if evidence suppression is something you can use in your domestic violence case.
Don’t leave your domestic violence case to chance
A domestic violence conviction can wreak havoc on your life. If you want to avoid harsh outcomes like jail or prison time, career disruptions, and negative ramifications on a custody arrangement, then you need to aggressively defend yourself. You can’t just wing your defense arguments or allow your emotions to take control. Instead, you need to carefully craft your defense arguments considering the law, something with which your attorney can help.
We know being accused of criminal wrongdoing can be incredibly stressful. But you can get through this difficult time while raising effective defense arguments. By doing so, you’ll hopefully be able to protect your future and successfully get through this trying chapter of your life.