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Where does a defense attorney start with a domestic abuse charge?

If you've been charged with domestic violence, you may feel like it's simply a case of your word against that of your alleged victim -- especially if the responding officers arrested you without giving you much of a chance to explain your side.

Your defense attorney probably has an entirely different perspective, however, and sees plenty of places to look for evidence that can help your case.

So, where does your attorney start to look for weaknesses in the case against you? He or she is likely to start by asking a number of important questions:

  1. Was there a 911 call made during the incident? Does the 911 call support your defense?
  2. Are there pictures of your alleged victim's injuries? Is there any evidence (signs of healing) that the injuries are older than the alleged incident?
  3. Did you have injuries? Were your clothes damaged? Do they show signs that tend to support the idea that you were trying to defend yourself from an attack?
  4. Did your statements at the time of the arrest support your defense? What was your emotional state at the time of your arrest?
  5. What did your alleged victim say? Does it make sense considering the scene at the time of your arrest? Was your alleged victim drinking or using drugs?
  6. Were there witnesses to the alleged assault? Were they drinking? Did the police interview them immediately or were their statements taken later?
  7. Were there any cameras on scene? If the event took place in a public place, a security camera may have evidence that supports your claim. Additionally, a witness may have captured part of the incident on a cell phone's camera.
  8. What other evidence might help or hurt your claim? Do you have a prior history of violence? Does the alleged victim?

You may feel that no one was willing to listen to what you had to say before the arrest but your attorney can often make the evidence speak for you. If you've been wrongly accused of domestic violence, talk to an attorney today.

Source:, "Training Memo: How a Defense Attorney Reads a Domestic Violence-Related Report," accessed July 14, 2017

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