When a disagreement between dating partners or spouses turns violent, a police officer may be called to the scene to diffuse the situation and evaluate what happened. Based on the officer’s observations and evaluation, one party may be arrested and later charged with domestic assault. Spousal violence is a form of family violence, as defined by Texas Family Code Sec. 71.004, family violence, while dating violence is defined by Texas Family Code Sec. 71.0021. Generally, both family and dating violence are covered by Texas’ simple and aggravated assault laws.
Domestic assault charges are serious and can result in severe penalties if you are convicted. That is why it is important for you and your attorney to come up with an effective defense strategy to defend against the charges you face. Self-defense is one of the most effective defenses against domestic violence charges.
Defending against domestic violence using self-defense
The officer who reports to the scene may have make a quick decision as to who the aggressor was in the fight. If both parties have injuries, it can be hard to make that call. In some cases, the person charged with domestic assault was simply defending themselves or others from the other person. Establishing that you were acting in self-defense may be enough to have your charges dropped entirely.
Proving that you were acting in self-defense can be difficult, but it can be done with the help of a skilled attorney. Your attorney can use the police report, surveillance footage, witness statements, and statements made by both you and the alleged victim as evidence to show you only acted to protect yourself and/or others. The goal is to prove that you were facing an imminent threat and that you used the minimum amount of force required to keep that threat away, as you had no intent to injure the other person.
Self-defense is not easy to prove, and if the court determines that there was no immediate threat to you or others or that you used more force than necessary to defend yourself or others, the defense will be rejected. However, a criminal defense attorney with in-depth knowledge of domestic assault defense strategies can give you the best chance at proving your case.