If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence-related crime, you’re probably wondering how to clear your name. After all, your freedom is not the only thing at stake; your reputation is, as well.
Having a domestic violence conviction on your record can affect virtually every aspect of your life, from where you can live to your ability to find a job. Fortunately, there are several defenses that may apply to your case. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to get the charges or penalties reduced or to get your case dismissed entirely.
Read on to learn about a few common defenses against domestic violence charges:
Claiming self-defense is one of the most common ways to fight domestic violence charges. If you actually did hurt the victim but you were facing imminent danger at the time, building your case around self-defense may be effective. This defense is often strongest when children were in the vicinity of the incident.
2. False Accusations
It’s not uncommon for one partner to falsely accuse another of domestic violence. If you’re facing a contentious divorce, for example, and your ex wants to secure custody, he or she might accuse you of violence in order to bolster his or her own case. Evidence that might contribute to such a defense includes eyewitness testimony, receipts and surveillance footage that show your location at the time of the alleged incident, and correspondence from the alleged victim threatening to falsely accuse you.
3. Procedural Errors
Procedural errors made by law enforcement may be used to fight the charges against you. In scenarios involving domestic violence, common mistakes on the part of police and prosecutors include:
- Failing to record the interrogation properly;
- Failing to read the suspect his or her Miranda Rights at the appropriate time;
- Denying the suspect’s request for legal counsel;
- Questioning the suspect after he or she exercised the right to remain silent;
- Lacking probable cause to conduct a search or make an arrest;
- Failing to obtain the suspect’s side of the story, thereby operating with a bias against the accused from the start;
- Failing to question eyewitnesses at the scene; and
- Failing to draft a detailed police report that describes the incident adequately.
Building a defense around a procedural error requires an in-depth knowledge of criminal law. A seasoned domestic violence attorney can investigate your arrest and your subsequent interactions with law enforcement to find out if any mistakes were made that could work in your favor. Sometimes a procedural error can render certain evidence inadmissible in court, which could make it more difficult for the prosecutor to secure a conviction.
Discuss Your Case with a Domestic Violence Attorney in New York
If you’re facing domestic violence charges, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group for representation. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field and have defended thousands of clients against criminal charges. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a New York domestic violence lawyer.