Was it Domestic Violence or Self Defense?

In some domestic violence cases, it is possible to be acquitted if you present evidence that the only reason you laid hands on your accuser was to prevent them from attacking someone else.

Family violence incidents are among the most common types of calls that police officers receive. You spend a lot of time at home with your family, and they are the ones who see you at your worst, so the chances that you will get into a heated argument that turns physical are greater with your close family members than with anyone else. In many domestic violence cases, there are no other witnesses to the alleged incident of violence besides the accuser and the defendant; the police are only trying to piece together what happened before they arrived. Facing domestic violence accusations is a serious matter; the court usually issues a restraining order even while the case is still pending. Getting acquitted or having the charges dropped is the first step to things going back to normal with your family. If you are being accused of an act of violence against a family member, contact an Atlanta domestic violence lawyer.

Common Pieces of Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases

In some domestic violence cases, other family members are present when one family member strikes or aggressively grabs another. These witnesses can provide testimony as to how the conflict started and whether the defendant acted in self-defense or whether it was an unprovoked act of aggression. Often, though, only the accuser and the defendant were present, and it is one person’s word against the other's. The state drops the charges in many family violence cases because the alleged victim refuses to testify, not wanting to bear witness against a family member, and therefore the state has no other evidence with which to prosecute the defendant.

Should You Claim That You Acted in Self-Defense?

Self-defense is a common defense in cases where a defendant pleads not guilty to family violence. Claiming self-defense is one thing, but proving your claim is another. Georgia law allows you to make audio recordings without the knowledge of everyone present, so if your spouse is being aggressive towards you, turn the incident into a voice memo. Other family members may be able to verify that the alleged victim has a history of violent and aggressive behavior, even if they were not present during the incident that led to the charges. Another possible defense is that you physically restrained the accuser to stop him or her from hitting or attacking another family member. It will also help your case if you voluntarily undergo an anger management evaluation shortly after your arrest.

Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Domestic Violence Cases in Georgia

An Atlanta criminal defense attorney can help you argue that you acted in self-defense if you are being accused of an act of violence against a family member. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a free consultation.