Robert S. Gershon is concerned about allegations of domestic violence and he takes the rights of his clients very seriously. While there are certainly many victims of domestic violence, there are also many people who have been wrongfully accused. For anyone charged with acts of domestic violence, a strong defense is essential to protect their reputation, future, and freedom because these cases can be prosecuted quite harshly by the criminal justice system.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, there are a number of defenses that may be put forth:
1. Deliberately False Accusations
It is not uncommon for someone to make false allegations of domestic abuse against their partners for one reason or another. Often it happens in the context of a relationship gone bad, a child custody case or a divorce. It is important to look for inconsistencies in the accuser’s version of what happened and to compare their statements to the police reports, any witness statements and any prior testimony. In some cases there are alibi witnesses who can testify that the accused was at another place at the time of the alleged incident.
When someone has been attacked first or perceived an imminent threat, self-defense (justification) may be a potential affirmative defense to a charge. In many domestic violence cases evidence that shows that the accused acted justifiably to protect themselves or others may be cause to be completely cleared of all charges.
3. Incomplete or Incredible Evidence
One cannot be convicted of domestic violence if the prosecutor fails to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty. This is the highest burden of proof that must be obtained in our courts. Many charges can be dismissed because there are just too many “holes” in the case.
Another useful method of fighting charges is reliance on the Criminal Procedure Laws. Cases can sometimes be dismissed because they were either filed too late or simply because the case took too long to proceed to trial. While a victory under these grounds is not one on the merits of the case, the case will be dismissed and sealed nevertheless.
Robert S. Gershon has over twenty years of experience dealing with domestic violence issues in the Courts of New York State. If you, or someone you know is looking for representation, contact his office to schedule a consultation.