The Primary Defenses In Domestic Violence Cases

If you are facing allegations of domestic violence in Orange County, criminal defense attorney Robert J. Hickey who practices law at Orange County’s leading criminal defense law firm, will review the police reports and then work on building your defense. Your attorney will study the police reports carefully in order to answer a number of questions. This helps him to identify the available defenses you have to your charges.

He will want to read what you told the police about what happened. He will also want to see if there is a 911 recording that either supports what you told the police or instead differs from your account. He will also want to know if there were any other witnesses and if their statements support what you are claiming happened. The apparent recency of the alleged victim’s injuries is also important, as is your emotional state at the time of the incident and the police questioning. He will also want to see what the victim’s emotional state was at the time.

Mr. Hickey will look to see if your report notes any indications that you had visible signs of being involved in a struggle. These might include bloodied or torn clothing or injuries to you. It will also be important to review whether there were any past cases that were filed against you by the alleged victim or others. Next, your criminal defense lawyer will look to see if the police reports note any signs in your home of a struggle and whether or not the officers’ observations support or contradict your claims. Finally, your criminal defense attorney will look to see if the reports indicate if either you or the victim were under the influence of alcohol or other substances at the time.

This information will aid your lawyer in deciding whether your charges are supported and whether or not they constitute a major case or a minor one. He will be interested in identifying any statements that are incriminating or inconsistent.

The primary defenses used in domestic violence cases.

If your attorney, upon his review of the reports, decides that the police reports support your defense, he will then work to gather evidence that helps to build and reinforce it. There are seven primary defenses that are sometimes available in domestic violence cases. Which one that might be available to you will depend on the facts of your case.

  1. The alleged victim lied

If the alleged victim lied, your attorney will try to determine whether or not any visible injuries existed on the victim. If they did, he will look to see if the injuries were consistent with your claims or instead if the injuries were consistent with the victim’s claims.

  1. You did not do it

If you are claiming that a different person injured the victim, your attorney will try to identify evidence that supports that defense. He will try to find out where you were at the time the offense happened, including whether or not you were present at the scene or near to it at the time of the incident. If you were not present, then your attorney will try to build a believable alibi. He will work to identify any incriminating evidence that instead points to your being present at the scene. This might include a recording of your voice on the 911 tape, physical evidence that points to your presence or neighbors who might have heard or seen you.

  1. It was self-defense or you were defending your children

If you are asserting that what happened was an act of self-defense or one in which you were trying to protect your children, your criminal defense attorney will look at the police reports to see if the alleged victim admitted to using any violence against you. He will also try to determine why the alleged victim used violence, such as whether or not he or she did so because of being afraid of you. He will also try to determine how your claim matches up with what you told the investigating officers and whether or not the victim’s injuries point to self-defense on your part. He will try to identify if you had any injuries indicating that you were defending yourself. Finally, he will look for any evidence that is inconsistent with a self-defense claim.

  1. It was an accident

If you are admitting that the alleged victim was injured, you may be claiming that the injury was an accident. If this is your defense, your lawyer will look to see if the evidence supports your claim.

  1. The incident can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt

It is possible that there may be no proof of the charges against you or that the victim will not cooperate. If this is true in your case, then your lawyer will decide whether or not the case is built on the allegations made by the victim. he will then look to see if you had any defensive injuries, whether there was any damaged property at the scene and look to see if there is any physical evidence that could support the prosecutor’s theory that you assaulted your alleged victim. He will also review whether you made any statements at the time and whether you have threatened the victim in order to try to get him or her to not testify against you.

  1. The incident happened because of the victim’s own behavior

You may be admitting that you assaulted the alleged victim but stating it was his or her fault. This may include an assault that happened because he or she was abusing your children, had a temper flare or suffered from a medical problem. In these types of scenarios, your attorney will look to see if the prosecuting attorney will be able to prove anything more than a he said-she said case. He will also try to identify if there is any evidence that supports your assertion that your victim is a violent person.

  1. The police made investigative mistakes

If you did assault your victim, it is still possible that the investigating officers made mistakes during their investigation. This may include any or all of the following:

  • You were not Mirandized when you were interrogated in custody.
  • Your custodial interrogation was not adequately recorded.
  • You asked for an attorney, but your request was denied.
  • Law enforcement officers questioned you even though you had invoked your right to remain silent.
  • The police did not have probable cause to interrogate you or to conduct a search.
  • Law enforcement officers didn’t ask to hear your side of the story before you were arrested.
  • Whatever happened in your case was not sufficient grounds for a warrantless search and entry.
  • The police failed to collect available physical evidence.
  • The police failed to interview witnesses that were also present.
  • The report doesn’t provide an adequate description or note any observations made by the investigating officers.

Contact an attorney

How successful you will be with your defense depends largely on the degree to which you cooperate with your lawyer and his investigation. When you meet with attorney Robert J. Hickey, it is important that you are honest and upfront with him, providing all of the relevant information so that your case will go more smoothly. To learn more about the rights you have in your case, contact us at the leading criminal defense law firm in Orange County today to schedule your appointment.