Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in New Jersey
New Jersey prosecutors take domestic violence offenses seriously. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone who ends up getting charged will face severe penalties.
There are a number of potential ways to defend against domestic violence-related charges. If you’ve found yourself on the wrong side of the law following a domestic dispute, it may be possible to challenge the evidence against you or at least negotiate for lesser charges with reduced penalties.
Since the best defense strategy will ultimately depend on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, it’s advisable to seek legal counsel so you can discuss your case with a seasoned professional. At the end of the day, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to fighting domestic violence-related charges. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the less likely you will be to provide a harmful statement or make another mistake that jeopardizes your case.
Generally speaking, the following defenses tend to be common in these cases:
1. False Allegations
Sadly, people will sometimes accuse those close to them of committing transgressions that never actually happened. False allegations are typically made when the alleged victim has something to gain from the subsequent criminal proceedings. For example, if a couple is facing a contentious child custody battle, one might accuse the other of domestic violence to bolster their own case.
If the altercation occurred but you weren’t the one who instigated it, you may be able to argue self-defense. In order to secure a favorable outcome by applying this strategy, you will need to present adequate evidence that you were in imminent danger and you used no more than the minimum force needed to protect yourself.
3. Insufficient Evidence
Because domestic violence so often happens inside the home, there are rarely eyewitnesses who can share what transpired. If there is no other evidence of the alleged altercation—no surveillance footage, visible injuries, or calls and texts highlighting a pattern of abuse, for example—the case against you might be too weak to result in a conviction.
4. Procedural Errors
If police made any errors during the investigation—or your rights were violated at any point—certain evidence against you may be inadmissible. Common examples of police misconduct that can contribute to your defense include:
- Failing to read your Miranda Rights before custodial interrogations;
- Denying your request to speak to a lawyer;
- Questioning you after you’ve invoked the right to remain silent;
- Failing to confirm probable cause prior to conducting a search; and
- Failing to collect physical evidence at the scene.
Call 973-832-0841 to Discuss Your Case with a Morristown Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges, turn to The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura to determine how best to proceed. After evaluating the situation from all angles, Joseph Scura can devise an applicable defense and then gather the evidence needed to build your case.
Our tireless team is available 24/7 to take your call, so don’t wait. Call 973-832-0841 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Morristown.