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Domestic Violence and Self-Defense

 Posted on May 21, 2024 in Violent Crimes

IL defense lawyerIf you can show that you were acting in reasonable self-defense, your domestic violence charge can be dismissed, or you could be found not guilty at trial. It is very, very common for people to get arrested for domestic violence after defending themselves against an abusive partner. Many domestic abusers are quite skilled liars and very good at manipulating the situation to make it appear as though they are the victims. A spouse or romantic partner who has complete control over his or her victim may be completely calm when the police arrive while the actual victim is in a state of panic. If you have been arrested for domestic violence because you were defending yourself, there is hope. A Naperville, IL domestic violence lawyer can help.

Proving a Self-Defense Claim

It is not always easy for the police to tell who is the victim and who is the aggressor. Looking at the obvious physical injuries on each party may not tell the full story. It is fairly common for only the aggressor to have visible injuries while the victim’s injuries are not readily apparent. If your spouse pushed you down, pulled your hair, or unlawfully restrained you, he may not have left any bruises that were visible when the police arrived. However, if you defended yourself by biting or scratching him, he may have visible injuries that caused the police to think that you were the aggressor.

Some types of evidence that might help prove your self-defense claim include:

  • Bruises that develop later - Bruises can take a day or more to appear. If your bruises develop later, your criminal defense attorney can document them and show that your visible injuries are consistent with what you told the police happened to you. 
  • Injuries that were not obvious - If you are treated for an injury that was not visibly apparent when the police arrived, this can help prove that you were assaulted. 
  • Witness testimony - Your neighbors or anyone else who has witnessed your partner abusing you may be able to testify to help prove that you are the victim and were likely acting in self-defense. 
  • Record of prior complaints - If you have ever filed a police report against your abuser, called a domestic violence hotline, stayed in a domestic violence shelter, taken out a protection order, or otherwise sought help for your situation, this may help show that you are not the aggressor. 

Contact a Naperville, IL Domestic Violence Lawyer 

Appelman Law LLC is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence who have been mistakenly arrested prove their self-defense claims. Experienced DuPage County, IL domestic violence attorney Brett Appelman has a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. Contact us at 630-717-7801 for a complimentary consultation.

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