Living with a domestic violence accusation is a horrible experience. The allegation alone can ruin reputations, friendships, and employment.
What’s worse, we know that many of these accusations are false. Vindictive people know what the claim can do to someone, and they do so simply to ruin the other person’s life. A 2020 study conducted by YouGov revealed that as many as 20.4 people can be wrongfully accused of domestic violence every year.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, you deserve your day in court. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and your reputation should not suffer over an accusation. You cannot be convicted of a crime unless you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here are some defenses that can help reveal that doubt in your case.
You Had No Other Choice
Not everyone is trained or skilled in helping calm someone who is out of control. When someone in the home is having a meltdown, perhaps because of a mental health crisis, the other inhabitants are frightened. They worry that this person will hurt them or themselves, and they simply want to control the situation.
Out of desperation, someone may strike out, simply trying to stun the irrational person and exert some calm.
You Acted in Self-Defense
You have a right to defend yourself against anyone, even another family member or housemate. If you genuinely believe that you are in danger, you can respond with violence.
Remember, however, that self-defense is not the same as beating someone senseless. Your act must be proportionate to the threat. Slapping or punching someone to protect yourself is legally justifiable.
It Was an Accident
Picture a married couple in a screaming match. They are pointing, getting close, and gesturing wildly. In a situation like this, it’s easy to accidentally strike someone. Already angry from the fight, the alleged victim uses this strike as an excuse to file a domestic violence complaint.
Accidental contact happens often, and it is a reasonable defense you can use in your case.
There Is a Lack of Strong Evidence
As with any criminal allegation, sometimes the best defense is to scrutinize the evidence.
Here are some examples of evidence you can use against your accuser.
Was anyone else there on the day of the alleged event? Have they reported witnessing any violence? Perhaps the neighbors could even testify that your car was not present on the day in question.
- Medical Records
Do the records corroborate the alleged victim’s story? For instance, they may claim they were solidly punched in the eye, but there is no evidence of a black eye or any related treatments.
- Surrounding Damage
Is there anything in the surrounding property damage that can contradict your accuser’s claims? For instance, they may say that you threw something at them. However, that object and the others in the room may not have suffered the damage such an act would cause.
Patton & Pittman Attorneys is here to help defend you against domestic violence allegations. You can schedule time with us online or call our firm today at (931) 361-4477.