Facing domestic violence charges is never something to take lightly. Regardless of your relationship to the individual who filed them or how the severity of any injuries sustained in an altercation, the truth is that domestic violence charges may result in hefty fines and even jail time. This could completely upend your means of providing for yourself and your loved ones.
Taking your domestic violence charges seriously always entails building a strong legal defense. You may not think that you have any good defenses available, but there are usually more legal opportunities available than you realize, if you take the time to consider all sides of the matter and invest the resources you have to keep your rights secure.
Are the allegations demonstrably false?
Some people tend to take domestic violence charges lightly if they believe that the underlying allegations of violence are simply false. Unfortunately, even in cases of false allegations, without a strong legal defense to point out the inconsistencies or falsehoods in the charges, the prosecution will usually still try to secure a conviction.
If the allegations are simply false, which is far more common than you might expect, then you need to lay out clearly in your defense the motivations of the false allegations and any evidence to support your defense that you did not commit the alleged violence. False allegations often arise as part of larger disputes, such as child custody conflicts, so be sure to connect the false allegations clearly to a larger motivating conflict, if you can.
You do not have to deny committing an act of violence to build a strong defense. In some instances, you may have grounds to claim that you acted in self-defense or the defense of some other party, or that the acts that took place are misrepresented in the charge against you.
Whether in defense of yourself or someone else, it is unwise to use violence unless you cannot flee the scene of the conflict safely when another party presents a clear and imminent threat to you or someone else. If you choose to claim self-defense, you must find justifications for your actions beyond saying “I feared for my life.” Was the other party brandishing a weapon or making threatening gestures? Were they acting in any way that indicated imminent harm? A court will want to hear in detail why you chose your actions.
It is also possible that an interaction you believed was consensual resulted in domestic violence charges. This is more common than many people realize. While it may seem embarrassing to admit, it is not illegal to enjoy aggressive intimate encounters.
However you build your defense, build it quickly using all the resources that you have. A strong defense using the strength of the law can help you overcome these charges and protect your rights against unfair domestic violence accusations.