An Explanation of the 3 Most Common Domestic Violence Defenses

Although domestic violence is a common charge in Florida and many other states, it’s a serious one that could impact your life, your relationships, and even your career. The most important thing you can do after being arrested and charged with domestic violence is to form a solid defense strategy. Here are 3 of the most frequently used domestic violence defenses and how you can get legal help after an arrest.

1. Not Enough Proof Exists

Anytime the state brings charges against someone, they have what is called a “burden of proof” — this means that they must be able to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt. The prosecution must be able to provide evidence that the violence occurred and that there were real damages to the alleged victim as a result, and also that you were the one that committed the crime. Since domestic violence typically not witnessed and exists only between the defendant and the alleged victim, there may not be much proof other than the victim’s own testimony. If this is the case, you may be able to argue that there’s simply not enough evidence to prove that you committed the crime.

2. Self-Defense

In some cases of domestic violence, the alleged victim instigates the violence, causing the defendant to act in self-defense. Then, the alleged victim later reports domestic abuse, even though the defendant only acted in such a way to stop the violence from continuing. If this is the case, you may be able to argue that the only action you took was one in response to violence that the alleged victim instigated. This may result in the charges against you being reduced or even dropped entirely.

3. False Allegations

It’s not uncommon for domestic violence accusations to be brought forward in family law cases like divorce or child custody. If the alleged victim has made false allegations of domestic violence against you in order to gain control of a situation or to “get back at you”, you may be able to argue that the victim has the motivation to fabricate these claims. This defense is particularly effective when there is also a lack of evidence that the violence ever occurred or that you were the perpetrator.

How to Get Legal Help After a Domestic Violence Arrest

If you’ve been charged with domestic abuse in Florida, don’t wait to get legal help. Protect your rights, reputation, and record by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call T. Martin Knopes, PA today for a consultation at (850) 683-0700.