A conviction for domestic violence in Minnesota can mean harsh consequences like incarceration, high fines, and the loss of basic rights. Luckily, there are several defense strategies that you may be able to utilize to help your situation. The trick is in knowing how to find the best defense to beat your charges and prevent further upheaval for your family.
One or more of the following defense strategies may work to get your charges reduced or dismissed with the help of a skilled attorney.
Lack of Intent
Domestic violence charges hinge on whether the offender acted with intent. If your lawyer can make a strong argument that your actions do not show an intent of committing acts of violence, your charges could be dropped.
No Proof of Injury
A plaintiff’s medical report is a key piece of evidence in most domestic violence cases. The medical report must be complete and directly related to the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the evidence is insufficient or not related to injuries detailed in the case, you may not be subject to charges.
You may have been falsely identified as the offender from a group of people present at the time of the act. Your attorney will sift through the evidence to show that you were mistaken for someone else.
If you have a solid alibi showing that you were somewhere else at the time of the incident, all the better.
Sometimes relationships end badly, and an ex-spouse or former dating partner could falsely accuse you of domestic violence to retaliate against you. Your ex-spouse or parent of your children may convince your children to make false statements of abuse in a tough custody battle. False allegations can ruin your reputation if they aren’t fought with the help of an experienced Minnesota defense attorney.
When the lesser of two evils is to commit an act of domestic violence, the judge may show sympathy to you and reduce or dismiss your charges.
If you were mentally incapacitated in some way, you may not have been aware of your actions. This can result in you receiving an adjudicated sentence if mental incapacitation can be proven by an expert witness.
In rare situations, intoxication can count as a form of mental incapacitation. If so, the judge may order that you complete the requirements of a substance abuse treatment program or rehabilitation center rather than sentence you to incarceration.
Self-defense or Defense of Others
It’s possible that you did take violent action against the plaintiff, but you acted in self-defense or in the defense of others. This claim will need to be substantiated by evidence, but it can work in certain situations.
How Minnesotans Can Fight Back against Their DV Charges
The state of Minnesota takes domestic violence charges very seriously, even considering threats of violence a crime. That’s why it’s vital for you to work with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as charges are filed against you. An lawyer with experience in other domestic violence cases will know exactly which defensive strategy works best in your case.
An attorney can also advise you how to proceed so you don’t get in more trouble with the law. In some cases, you could face additional charges if you attempt to contact the alleged victim or keep firearms in your possession after domestic violence charges have been filed.
Contact a knowledgeable defense attorney today to know how to proceed in your case.
About the Author:
A former prosecutor and lifelong Minnesotan, Christian Peterson has handled hundreds of criminal cases from both sides of the aisle since he began practicing law in 2006, as well as a wide variety of family law matters. This background allows him to look at situations from all angles and anticipate which arguments the other side may use, increasing his clients’ chances of success. His work has been recognized by the American Society of Legal Advocates, the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, and National Trial Lawyers, and he has a perfect 10/10 rating from Avvo.