Someone who is facing accusations of domestic violence in Ohio is at risk of many significant consequences. There are criminal penalties and numerous secondary consequences including the damage to someone’s reputation to consider.
People hoping to defend against accusations of domestic violence often need to prepare for court carefully if they hope to avoid a conviction. The following are some of the more common methods of limiting the fallout of a domestic violence charge.
Examining the evidence thoroughly
Someone accused of domestic violence needs to know how the prosecutor will attempt to prove their misconduct in court. They can then fine-tune their defense strategy based on how the state will likely develop its case.
Performing a witness credibility assessment
Ohio, like many other states, recognizes that not all witnesses are equally credible. Looking for contradictions in testimony or obvious biases in the witness could raise questions about how useful their testimony would be. In some cases, if the witness is the alleged victim, it may be possible to establish that someone made false accusations because of the end of a relationship or other issues.
Establishing a self-defense claim
Sometimes, people end up arrested for domestic violence when they fight back against a perpetrator. Other times, they lash out after years of abuse. Sometimes, what looks like domestic violence was actually reactive abuse. People can sometimes establish that they acted in self-defense or experienced reactive abuse.
Fighting restraining orders
Restraining orders can have a chilling effect on someone’s freedoms and personal life even if they don’t end up convicted of a criminal offense. Sometimes, the alleged victim can use a restraining order as evidence of likely abuse. Therefore, assertively responding to a restraining order request can make a major difference for a domestic violence defendant.
Bringing in expert assistance
There are expert witnesses who can analyze the state’s evidence and provide a different perspective on the situation. There may even be counselors who have a history of working with either individual involved in the incident or both of them as a couple. These professionals can have a major impact on how the courts view the situation and how likely the prosecution is to obtain a conviction.
Negotiating a plea bargain
Occasionally, when the state seems to have good evidence, a plea bargain may be the best option for someone accused of a domestic violence offense. They may be able to avoid a life-altering criminal record and limit the penalties that the courts hand down.
Other times, it may be necessary to prepare to go to trial. Expert witnesses, questions about the credibility of witnesses and other components of the defense strategies outlined above could help someone avoid a criminal conviction during a trial. Individuals who have the right help when preparing to respond to a domestic violence charge may have an easier time limiting the negative impact those accusations have on their future.