Information You Need to Mount Your Defense Against a Domestic Abuse Charge
Being wrongfully accused of domestic abuse can alter your entire life and feel overwhelming. Hiring an experienced lawyer right away can help you gather evidence to defend yourself against a domestic abuse charge.
What Happens When Someone Is Charged With Domestic Abuse?
If a spouse or family member has accused you of domestic abuse and law enforcement has brought a charge, a court will first put a temporary restraining order in place. The plaintiff can request an ex parte court proceeding, which means the court will hear the plaintiff’s evidence without the defendant present or being notified. To put it bluntly: this proceeding will happen without your knowledge, and then you’ll be served with a temporary restraining order.
Temporary restraining orders typically last ten days. During that time, law enforcement must notify the defendant, and the plaintiff must request an official court hearing where all parties attend.
What Strategies Can Be Used To Defend Against A Domestic Abuse Charge?
Working with an experienced lawyer who possesses an in-depth knowledge of domestic abuse laws will help you curate the best defense for your charge.
First, your lawyer may push for the judge to dismiss the case if the plaintiff’s complaint does not genuinely constitute domestic violence’s legal definition.
Next, your lawyer will check to see if the jurisdictional requirements have been met. This means the plaintiff and defendant must have one of the following relationships:
- A spouse, former spouse, or former household member.
- The victim of domestic violence must be at least 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor, who is subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any present or former household member.
- The victim and the defendant must have a child or soon be having a child together because one of the two is pregnant.
- The plaintiff and defendant are dating.
If these legal loopholes do not work, the two defenses that remain are self-defense and de minimis infractions. Your lawyer can argue you inflicted injuries on the plaintiff under self-defense because you were legitimately defending yourself against bodily harm.
With de minimis infractions, your lawyer will argue your actions were so minor it does not constitute being considered a criminal act.
What Are Possible Consequences Of A Domestic Abuse Conviction?
If convicted of domestic abuse, several severe consequences await. If convicted, you may face a hefty legal fine, eviction from your home if you currently live with the plaintiff, jail time, or even losing custody of your children.
Do not contact the plaintiff at any time during these proceedings, as this could increase your punishment.
What Should I Do If I Was Charged With Domestic Abuse?
If you have been charged with domestic abuse and feel you have been wrongfully accused, reach out to VanWa Legal’s offices right away. VanWa’s legal team offers free consultations to help you gather information on your case and understand your chances.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse, seek legal advice right away, as these court proceedings often happen quickly. We know that the legal system can feel overwhelming and complicated and want to use our legal expertise to help you defend yourself and get back to your life as soon as possible.