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As any seasoned defense attorney will tell you, accusations of domestic violence constitute some of the most difficult and confusing cases in the criminal justice system. Fortunately, the right legal counselor can help individuals who have been accused of domestic violence put their best foot forward in any court proceedings that may occur.
How Attorneys Can Help: Gathering and Evaluating Evidence
Undoubtedly, people who have been accused of domestic violence will want to create the best defense possible with regard to their case. This is true of both cases wherein a person has been falsely accused of domestic violence and cases wherein allegations are merited. In either situation, individuals will want to use their best defense in conjunction with their attorney when moving forward through the court system.
Fortunately, a good attorney can help clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. Because each domestic violence case is different, there is no “right” way for a person and their legal counsel to proceed in building a defense. Attorneys will have to the weigh evidence (or lack thereof) in each case and help their clients to formulate a plan forward.
Evidence That Helps a Case
But there are certainly things that individuals can begin to do to build their defense early on. For example, many attorneys advise their clients to use any photographs that may show their side of the story.
Evidence that can help a case might include photographs that show that the accused person did not have any injuries to their hands after an incident. (Such photographs can show that the accused person did not strike their accuser.) Moreover, photographs that show injuries to the accused person can demonstrate that they were defending themselves during the event.
When There is Footage of an Event
Additionally, any CCTV footage of the altercation will likely help an accused person if the footage demonstrates that the accused person did not assault someone or that the accused person was defending themselves against an attack. Seeking out such footage can significantly help in a defense case.
Nowadays, CCTV footage can be found everywhere from storefronts to ATM machines to dashboard cameras in cars. Such footage will often provide hard evidence in cases that have otherwise been reduced to “he said, she said” arguments between accusers and accused individuals.
How Witness Testimony Can Aid Individuals Accused of Domestic Violence
The testimony of impartial witnesses can also significantly help a case as it moves forward. Individuals accused of domestic violence should seek out witnesses who can testify both to the event around which a case is based and to prior events where the accuser was the aggressor or made false allegations.
Attorneys for the accused may also help their clients by interviewing accusers. During such interviews, accusers may reveal inconsistencies in their stories or otherwise provide testimony that serves to exonerate accused individuals. Courts often take a hard view of people who make false or exaggerated accusations to win a case.
Why Time is of the Essence
As with all evidence, these pieces of information should be sought out as soon as possible. It may be difficult and time-consuming to track down exonerating or mitigating evidence in a domestic violence case, but individuals who put forth the time and effort to do so often find that such evidence significantly benefits them in the long run.
Of course, evidence of the kind described above will constitute just a part of any good defense argument in a domestic violence case. But it is a start. Individuals will have to work closely with their defense attorneys to see that their side of the story is presented in court. However, using time to prepare a case effectively can significantly help accused individuals in the long-term.
Indeed, there is no easy way forward when coping with domestic violence allegations, but a good attorney can help clients find the best outcome and right path forward in their case. Above all else, it is important to stay focused and lose little time in gathering evidence that provides credence to your position. As the saying goes, this is a marathon and not a sprint: Staying strong during this period of time can make all the difference.