Is self-defense possible in domestic violence cases?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Domestic Violence |

You know that self-defense is a common tactic if you’ve been accused of assault. For instance, maybe you got involved in a fight at a local bar, but witnesses are more than happy to tell the police that you were just defending yourself from a drunk person who attacked you. You know that it’s going to take the police time to sort this out, so they may detain you at first, but it’s also clear that you were not the aggressor.

In a domestic violence case, however, this can be a bit of a tricky situation. If the police show up and arrest you, you may suddenly feel like things are going entirely the wrong way. You were the one who was attacked. You used force to defend yourself. You think the police should arrest the other person, but they’re taking you into custody.

It can be difficult to find proof

In a situation like this, you certainly can use self-defense as a defense against domestic violence allegations. It is not illegal for you to use reasonable force to defend yourself from anyone, even if they’re in your own family.

What you want to focus on is gathering any evidence that you have. This could be evidence from a cellphone video, surveillance videos at the house, witness statements or something else entirely. Maybe you have threatening text messages or email messages from the other person that can show their mental state. You’re not going to have a room full of witnesses the way that you would in the hypothetical bar fight noted above, but that doesn’t mean there’s no evidence or proof.

As you work your way through this process, carefully consider all of your legal options. Your potential defenses may not be immediately obvious without experienced guidance.