Domestic violence is a very serious situation that the criminal justice system is intent on accurately identifying offenders. To this end, nearly everyone involved in the justice system will receive specialized training in the area of domestic violence, including police officers and judges. Of course state legislatures have also become involved in this process, issuing harsher penalties for serious infractions.
Identifying Domestic Violence:
Domestic violence is situation that occurs between people who are either related (i.e. a husband and wife) or who have a social relationship such as boyfriend and girlfriend. They could be married, living together, or even simply dating. Furthermore, sexual orientation does not matter in terms of defining the situation; those involved may be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and so on. It’s certainly possible for a male to be a victim of domestic violence resulting from another male or a female as well.
Domestic violence may be identified in a number of ways. Usually someone dials 911. Sometimes, the alleged victim comes forward and asks for help from either law enforcement or a number of social services agencies or groups. This may result in law enforcement officers coming to the alleged scene of the offense and making a determination as to what happened or the social service group informing law enforcement.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges:
While domestic violence allegations should absolutely be taken seriously, there are a number of cases where people are falsely accused of such actions. Most frequently this occurs in situations where one party is attempting to gain an advantage in a domestic relations case. Since there are significant penalties for being convicted of such a charge (for example, a conviction means that you will lose your Second Amendment right to own a firearm, not to mention large fines and possible prison time), a vigorous defense is essential.
If you are falsely accused of such a crime, a criminal defense attorney can be a huge help. In other cases, the alleged victim may have made deliberately false allegations; these can often be proven by searching for inconsistencies in the accusations and even showing how these were made out of spite. This often results when two partners are involved in a divorce and/or child custody case. Self-defense can even be a solid defense at times, provided they were not the initial aggressor, they perceived an imminent threat, and gave a proportional physical response. In other cases, the accuser simply might not be able to meet the burden of proof required for conviction.
Obviously, domestic violence is a situation which everyone should take seriously. There are number of systems in place to enable all elements of the criminal justice system to identify and prosecute domestic violence. At the same time, those falsely accused should also obtain a criminal defense attorney and present a strong defense to these serious charges. Attorneys do not only assist people who are falsely accused. Often something happened but the charges are inflated beyond what is supported by the facts. It could be that what happened is something unpleasant or inappropriate but is simply not a crime. An attorney is essential to sort out those cases. Finally, even if something did happen and what happened is, in fact, a crime, the sentence imposed by the court can be drastically altered by the assistance of an attorney.