Domestic violence is one of the most serious misdemeanor criminal offenses. As does society, courts look down on those who assault and batter a current or past romantic partner, a family member, or a household member. There are stereotypes attached to a domestic violence conviction that may close off educational or career opportunities. You may suffer severe collateral consequences far beyond any judicial sentencing imposed.
Those who are convicted of offenses related to domestic violence may be incarcerated for up to a year – or more, if domestic violence is charged as a felony – in addition to being fined and placed under the close supervision of a probation officer. The consequences can be severe and life-altering considering the circumstances under which many are arrested. Police officers may respond to a chaotic scene and errantly arrest someone who was not the aggressor. If you are facing domestic violence charges, the importance of reaching out to a qualified attorney as soon as possible cannot be understated.
Multiple Paths to Dismissal or Acquittal
A variety of legal strategies may be employed in the defense of a domestic violence defendant. Defense strategies that may result in dismissal or acquittal can include:
- Victim recants – Many domestic violence arrests are made during a heated dispute between a couple, family members, or roommates. During a moment of high emotional stress, false accusations can be made, and police officers may believe them. Often, the victim later regrets lying and wishes to reconcile with the defendant. Under these circumstances, a victim may be willing to recant their accusations.
- Self-defense – Police officers tend to arrest the person who is less calm. It may initially appear that the party in a higher state of emotional arousal is the aggressor. However, the aggressor is actually more likely to be calm as they have control of the situation, leaving the victim to be arrested. If self-defense can be shown, you are far less likely to be convicted.
- Discrediting the victim – If your case goes to trial, your attorney will have the opportunity to examine the victim on the stand. Always of great relevance in trials is the honesty and credibility of the witness. If there is any evidence suggesting that the victim has a tendency to be dishonest, the judge or jury may be much likely to accept their version of events as pure fact.
These are but several possible strategies for fighting back against a domestic violence charge. Your best defense strategy is highly dependent on the particulars of your case.
Call a Will County Domestic Violence Attorney
McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC provides top-quality legal defense to those who have been accused of domestic violence. Our experienced Joliet domestic violence lawyers will thoroughly examine the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest in order to design a strong custom defense. Call 815-727-0100 for a free consultation.