There’s a number of different defenses in domestic violence cases. But obviously, before anybody is going to start telling you over the phone what your defense is, they’re going to need to know what the facts and circumstances are surrounding your case. In other words, what happened? How are you being accused, arrested, charged with domestic violence, and then you can start to develop your defense.
The first step in any domestic violence defense is to get to an attorney and tell them what happened, and it’s great if you could just tell them first what the prosecutors or police are claiming you did, that way they kind of have a base of what you’re looking at and then when you give him all the other information — which of course is usually your spin or your take on things they can kind of take that with a grain of salt and compare that to what you’re being charged with doing.
But of course, the first defense is typically, no I didn’t do that, but that defense is not always the greatest defense because of times just saying no I didn’t do that is not going to win the case for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’m in the middle of a preliminary hearing in a domestic violence case or a trial and my client is whispering in my ear, no I didn’t do that, and the person is lying.
I can’t then say, wait a minute sir, didn’t they not do that? Because then they’re going to say, no they did do that. So, that’s not going to work. So, when you say that it doesn’t really do you any good in a domestic violence-related matter. And when you say, oh they’re lying, I can’t just turn that around and say, excuse me sir, are you lying? They’re going to say, no I’m not lying, I’m telling the truth.
You’ve got to figure out evidence in order to have a good defense in a domestic violence case. For example, witnesses. There’s witnesses that see what happened and it’s different than what the alleged victim is claiming. Now you’re talking. Now you’re starting to get a defense in your domestic violence-related case.
Let’s say that the alleged victim says that you punched them in the face and you weigh 200 pounds and you pack a good punch and they don’t have one injury on their face. Now, that would defy logic and common sense that somebody would be punched in the face by a 200 pound person and not have an injury on their face. Now, we’re starting to mount a defense.
Inconsistent Statements From Alleged Victim
Now you start to see there’s got to be evidence. Another thing that I see that happens all the time that is a very effective defense in a domestic violence case is that the person who’s claiming they were battered give contradictory statements about what happened.
In other words, they give what we call in criminal defense, inconsistent statements. They say one statement here on the subject matter and then they change it and alter it and they say a different statement here.
Now, if they’re talking about crucial parts of the case when they do that, then you have a pretty strong argument that they’re not telling the truth because when you tell the truth, the best argument is you tell the same story every single time.
If we’ve got a bunch of prior inconsistent statements by a witness, me as a defense attorney, is going to impeach that witness during cross-examination and say things like, wait a minute sir, you’re now saying this but on October 4th, you said this.
Why is your statement here different than your statement here? Why are you not telling the same statement every single time if it really is the truth? And now you start to eat away at that witness’s credibility and now you can make a strong defense in your domestic violence case.
So, there are a whole bunch of different defenses that can be utilized but most of those defenses spin on the particular facts of a case. So, your first move is to get to the attorney and give them all the facts, and don’t cheat the attorney because you cheat yourself by only telling part of the story. Tell the whole story.
Try to be as neutral as you can in giving the facts because that’s going to help the attorney. Don’t worry the attorney’s going to try to spin everything in your favor, but you at least have to give them the other side so they know what’s coming at them down the road and then they can mount the best defense for you.
Meeting with Domestic Violence Lawyer
In that first meeting — that first step that you take — you’re going to lay everything out. The attorney is going to ask you a bunch of questions about it and then you and the attorney are going to decide how you’re going to most effectively deal with the case.
Whether that’s going to be mount a full all-out offense, tell the prosecutors you’re not taking any deals and take the case to trial as fast as possible — or whether you’re going to try to mitigate things, do damage control and get the lowest possible resolution for you.
That’s something that you’re going to want to discuss in that first meeting, because then the attorney will know exactly what the game plan is. You will know what the game plan is and then both of you will be operating on the same wavelength, doing the same things and making moves that best help you, and you’re both going to have the same mental understanding as to what’s going on.
Categorised in: Domestic Violence