Using Self-Defense in Domestic Violence Cases

Anyone who has ever lived with a spouse or significant other knows that arguments can begin over trivial things. However, some arguments turn violent, and a person can be accused of domestic violence when they were only defending themselves. Here, potential clients can learn about using claims of self-defense in domestic violence cases.

The Self-Defense Doctrine

If a person is accused of domestic violence, they cannot be convicted if an attorney proves that the client acted to protect him/herself. The defense can be complicated, and for it to be successful, a lawyer must show:

  • That the client could reasonably believe they were in danger of imminent injury
  • That it was reasonable to use force to defend against the danger
  • That the client used the appropriate amount of force to protect them

The term “reasonable belief” refers to what a reasonable person in the same position would have believed. If a spouse makes vague threats, the danger is not imminent, and the defense likely would not apply. However, if a person lunges or throws a punch, the other person is entitled to defend themselves as long as they use no more force than is necessary.

Why It’s Difficult to Claim Self-Defense in a Domestic Violence Case

Self-defense can be hard to claim in a domestic violence situation. A person facing such charges realizes that the jury may not believe the claim; after all, they’re facing charges, rather than the other person, and it’s natural for jurors to think of the defendant as being in the wrong. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney when facing domestic violence charges arising from self-defense.

Contact a Local Domestic Violence Lawyer as Soon as Possible

It can be difficult to face domestic violence charges, especially when they come as a result of self-defense. Hiring an experienced domestic violence attorney can be critical in convincing the jury or judge that the act was done out of necessity. At www.powersmccartan.com, the team has successfully defended domestic violence cases for many years. The lawyers know how to demonstrate a case’s key facts, and they know how to show juries that the client’s actions were those of a reasonable person.