If you face domestic violence charges, it is imperative that you build a strong defense. A conviction can come with serious consequences, including difficulty passing background checks for future employment. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Carolina, like Dewey P. Brinkley, can help you develop that defense.
Recent Changes in Domestic Violence Protections for Same-Sex Relationships
North Carolina was the last state in the United States to deny some domestic violence protections, such as protective orders, to same-sex couples. In March 2022, the ACLU of North Carolina reported that the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision that same-sex couples cannot be excluded from domestic violence protections.
Going forward, victims of domestic violence will be able to request a protective order and receive it, no matter the gender of their partner.
Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in North Carolina
If faced with a domestic violence charge, your defense will depend on what happened and what evidence the state has against you. Some common defenses against domestic violence charges in North Carolina include:
I Didn’t Do It
One common defense that you might use is to show that you didn’t do it. This means that your defense team will claim that either the event didn’t happen at all or that it was someone else that hurt your partner. This will works if there is no evidence that shows that you committed domestic violence or if the evidence is weak.
It Was an Accident
Sometimes family members suffer injuries because of an accident. For example, you may have knocked your partner down when trying to pull them back from an intersection so that they weren’t hit by a car and your actions were misunderstood by your partner or witnesses. Sometimes you didn’t mean to hurt your partner and it was simply an accident.
My Partner Lied
Another defense against domestic violence is claiming that your partner lied about the accusation or about key aspects of the case. If this is the case, any lie could cast doubt on the charges of domestic violence case and lead to your exoneration.
If you acted violently in self-defense, you could claim self-defense. If your partner started physically fighting with you or threatening you with a weapon, you could let the judge and jury know about the physical altercation in the right context. Since you didn’t start the fight but rather defended and protected yourself, this shouldn’t count as domestic violence.
There’s No Proof
Without a confession, you are innocent until found guilty. The state needs proof that domestic violence occurs. In some cases, your criminal defense attorney can advocate for the case to be dismissed on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
Sometimes you can build a defense and have the charges potentially dismissed if there were police errors in the investigation. For instance, if you confessed under coercion or if the investigation did not go in accordance with local laws, this could potentially be used to avoid a conviction. Remember do not talk with the police without an attorney present. Always ask for an attorney and do not be intimidated by police into not getting an attorney. This is your right and is the smart thing to do.
The State, Not the Victim, Proceeds With Domestic Violence Charges
It is important to remember that the State of North Carolina proceeds with domestic violence charges. Even if your partner agrees to drop the case, it isn’t within their rights to have the state stop the criminal trial. For this reason, no matter what really happened, it is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Your criminal defense attorney can give you advice on your next steps. You should never try to pressure your partner to drop the charges, especially since it isn’t their decision. Your lawyer will let you know if and how to communicate with your partner and how to protect yourself throughout the case.
Consult Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina
To defend yourself against domestic violence charges, you need a good defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with domestic violence, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form. You can discuss your case and decide on what to do next during your consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting domestic violence charges and can help you build a strong defense based on your specific situation.