In North Carolina, the law takes domestic violence cases very seriously. Because of this, prosecutors will prosecute these types of cases to the fullest of their ability.
If you are facing criminal domestic violence charges, then you need to meet those charges with a good defense strategy. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and the burden is on the prosecutor to show the court that you are guilty. A good defense will plant a seed of doubt in the court’s mind, which could help you avoid conviction.
While every case is different, and therefore each defense unique, there are common ways that people defend themselves against domestic violence charges in North Carolina. Here are some of them.
Not Enough Evidence
In criminal domestic violence cases, a defendant can only be found guilty of a crime if the burden of proof is met. This means that it must be shown beyond any reasonable doubt that the crime was committed by the person being accused of it.
In other words, the proof must be so strong that no other logical explanation that can be taken from the facts of the case other than: The defendant must have actually committed the crime.
If the defense can poke holes in the arguments presented by the prosecution, then the jury or the judge may not convict. This can be accomplished in a few ways:
- Through the admission of evidence that contradicts what they are contending happened
- Showing that certain witnesses are not credible
- Finding any sort of inconsistency with the victim’s story
You Acted in Self Defense
If an altercation did take place that led to you being accused of domestic violence, but you were acting in self-defense, then that’s a good defense to use in court.
Under the law in North Carolina, a person can use force (with the exception of deadly force) against someone when they believe they must defend themselves against actions or force they perceive to be unlawful.
If you can show evidence that you were using force to defend against physical contact that was initiated by the other person, and that the force they used was unlawful – then that can be a very effective defense.
There Was Consent
This defense can only be used in limited domestic violence situations, because you must have proof that the victim consented to an act. This is especially difficult if the victim is maintaining one version of what happened while the defendant contends that something else happened. Plus, any sort of verbal consent usually won’t count, since it can’t be proven except through your word.
If the acts that occurred were consented to by the parties involved, tell your attorney. However, it may not make for a practical defense.
The Allegations are False
False allegations of domestic violence do occur, and if it’s the case in your situation, bring it to the attention of your attorney. In many domestic violence cases, it is a matter of one party’s word against the other. If there is evidence that can be introduced to show that you did not commit the acts of which you’re being accused, that should be presented in court.
If you have evidence of any kind that you believe will help your case, make sure to let your attorney know about it. Otherwise, tell your story to the best of your recollection and with total honestly. This can help your attorney to formulate the right defense for you, and it may help you to clear your name of the domestic violence charges for which you’ve been accused.