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5 Strategies for Fighting Domestic Violence Charges

Being accused of domestic violence can have profound implications on your life, affecting everything from personal relationships to employment opportunities. However, not all accusations lead to convictions – if you have a plan.

The Implications of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Being charged with domestic violence can be extremely challenging and difficult to process on multiple levels. The sooner you recognize this, the better.

As SBBL Law explains, “Domestic violence charges are almost always complicated by the human dynamics of the relationship between the person charged and the person alleging the assault.”

That means these cases are more than just paperwork and legal arguments – there’s usually complex relational aspects folded into the mix. And things are made even more complicated by the fact that a domestic violence conviction can impact your life in more ways than one.

Depending on the state you’re in and the laws there, domestic violence charges can lead to anything from misdemeanor convictions with small fines and punishments all the way to first-degree felonies that have decades of jail time attached to them. If convicted, you’ll not only pay the immediate financial and legal penalties, but you could also have trouble finding work or going to school in the future. 

If you have children and are involved in a divorce, it could impact your child custody situation. Your voting rights and gun rights could also be restricted. The list goes on.

How to Fight Back Against Charges

If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime, you need to begin formulating a defense as soon as possible. Here are several helpful tips:

  • Team Up with the Right Lawyer

First things first, you need a skilled lawyer who knows the ins and outs of domestic violence law. This isn't the time for a DIY approach. An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal system, help you understand your rights, and develop a strong defense strategy. You want someone who specializes in the type of case you’re facing.

  • Gather Your Evidence

Evidence is your anchor in the storm. It's what keeps your defense grounded and strong. This can include text messages, emails, or any other communication that might shed light on the situation. Photos or videos can also be crucial, especially if they show the context of your interactions or any relevant conditions or injuries. 

  • Line Up Your Witnesses

Witness testimony is extremely important in domestic violence cases. If there were people who saw what happened or can speak to the nature of your relationship, their statements could be invaluable. This includes not just eyewitnesses but also those who can attest to your character or any relevant aspects of your personal life. Their insights can help illuminate the truth, showing the situation from different angles.

  • Challenge the Accusations

Sometimes, things are based on misunderstandings or misinterpretations. If the accusations against you don't line up with the facts, make sure you go on the offensive.

Start by taking a close look at the accuser's claims. Are there inconsistencies in their story? Do the details change over time, or when they retell the events to different people? If details are constantly changing, or new “facts'” emerge with each retelling of the story, this should be scrutinized. Pointing out these discrepancies can raise questions about the reliability of the accuser's narrative.

Next, compare the accusations to any physical evidence or documented facts. For example, if the accuser claims an incident happened at a specific time or place, does that align with phone records, GPS data, or witness accounts? Your attorney will lead the way with all of this.

  • Explore All Your Legal Options

Make sure you’re familiar with all the possible routes you can take with the case. Depending on the specifics, there might be different defenses available to you. Maybe there's evidence that you were acting in self-defense, or perhaps there are questions about the legality of how the evidence was collected. Your lawyer can help you explore these options and find the best strategy for your situation.

It’s Your Move

There’s no easy way to tackle a domestic violence charge. From the very beginning, it feels like you’re being treated as if you’re guilty until proven innocent (rather than the other way around). 

Thankfully, though, you do have options. And the more committed you are to strategically approaching your defense, the more likely it is that you can receive the outcome you’re looking for. Good luck!