Defenses to a New York Domestic Violence Arrest

Anyone accused of a New York Domestic Violence crime wants to know how he or she can beat the case. Further, an accused always wants to know what is the strongest or best defense to a Domestic Violence arrest. Whether it is based in lies or the allegations are true and corroborated by evidence, crafting a defense as early in the process as possible is key. After all, having your New York criminal lawyer or Domestic Violence attorney merely state you are innocent is no defense to these type of crimes.

As much as you may want your New York criminal defense attorney to have a pre-determined defense that fits any Domestic Violence scenario or arrest, that simply will not happen. There are too may variables ranging from the crimes charged – Assault, Criminal Mischief, Aggravated Harassment, etc. – to whether or not there were witnesses and the type of evidence in the possession of prosecutors. With this in mind, there are still certain steps that your New York Domestic Violence lawyer will - or should - pursue. In no particular order, the following steps and tasks may be critical to your ultimate exoneration or limiting of penalties and punishments.

  1. In cases involving a Domestic Violence Assault or violent crime, a photograph can be your “best friend.” If you are alleged to have struck another person, are there bruises or redness on your hands? Alternatively, do you have scratches, redness or bruises to your neck, face, arms, etc.? Potentially more important, did you sustain any type of injury to your back? The nature and locations of your injury may not only be consistent with your theory of the case, but can corroborate whether or not your actions were defensive or the accused was an aggressor. The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” can ring true in any criminal defense.
  2. Securing witnesses, preferably disinterested witnesses who have no allegiance to either side, is also essential. While there may be no witness in your apartment that saw the incident, can a neighbor corroborate that there was no screaming or yelling or that it was the complainant who was loud and aggressive? Further, can a witness state that moments before the complainant was cursing at you, highly intoxicated or belligerent? Can mutual friends or acquaintances confirm that the complainant is aggressive, violent or has attacked you verbally or physically in the past? Identifying witnesses and securing their statements at the onset of a case is crucial. Trying to do so weeks and months later may leave you without this valuable evidence. Should you have the financial means, an investigator can assist in this pursuit.
  3. Beyond the pictures you take or the witnesses who may have been present before, during or after the alleged Domestic Violence incident, obtaining video surveillance is also critical. In fact, the New York criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC exonerated a defendant accused of a felony Assault after video from an ATM machine corroborated that our client was not the initial aggressor. Further, the video established that the injury sustained by the complainant was not a result of the defendant’s actions. While each case is unique, did surveillance capture the alleged altercation? If so, can a video be located and copied? All of these are important questions to ask and ascertain before the video is no longer available.
  4. Although it may be awkward and you, as an individual arrested for a Domestic Violence crime cannot do so, your criminal lawyer may decide to reach out to the complainant. Similar to dealing with a witness, locking in a complainant to a particular story may be beneficial to your defense. This could not be truer than where the complainant’s statement is inconsistent from that given to law enforcement. Additionally, the complainant may not want to go forward with a case that lacks merit, was misunderstood by arresting officers or prosecutors, or is merely not accurate. Building a relationship with the complainant may be key as the case moves forward through the criminal justice system. It is far from atypical for a complainant to work with your attorney. Not all relationships between criminal lawyers and complainants are adversarial.

The above defenses to a New York Domestic Violence arrest are not actual defenses, but steps, ideas and plans that are worth considering when defending yourself against an allegation in New York. Will all of the above be valuable in your case? Probably not. Are there other steps to take in defense of your liberty and future? Absolutely. Put your best defense forward and do so as early in the process as possible. Not doing so is simply too dangerous.

Call the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan domestic violence prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today

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