This is the next post in my series on the handling of domestic violence charges in Louisville, Kentucky. My last article discussed defending one’s self against false claims of domestic violence. It is important to understand that false allegations are sometimes made by those who are attempting to gain an advantage in Family Court proceedings or by those who simply wish to “get even” with their significant other. It is important that you take such charges seriously and that you contact a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested. In this article I will discuss the possibility of claiming self-defense in such matters. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Kentucky is like other states in that it allows someone to use a reasonable amount of force to defend themselves from violence. The question of whether or not one used “reasonable” force will always be determined by the specific facts of the case. A person will have acted reasonably as long as the amount of force they used was no more than what was necessary to stop the violence from occurring. If, for example, you were being attacked and you shoved the other party away then such action would likely be seen as reasonable. If, however, the other side was shoving you and you “defended” yourself by attacking them with a baseball bat then you will likely be found to have used excessive force and to have committed domestic violence. Again, whether the force used in defense of one’s self was reasonable will always depend on the facts of a given situation.
It is far too common for a party to be arrested even if they were not the primary aggressor in an incident of domestic violence. It must be understood that law enforcement officers are not perfect and that they sometimes make mistakes. After speaking to both parties and any witnesses, the police may come to the belief that the person who struck second was, in fact, the perpetrator. At trial, however, each side will have the opportunity to present their side of the story and to present evidence. This will include the defendant’s right to cross-examine the alleged victim, the right to testify on one’s own behalf, as well as the ability to present one’s own witnesses and evidence. If the finder of fact determines that the defendant was acting in self-defense then the case will end in an acquittal.
If you have been arrested for domestic assault then there is a possibility that you may have a legitimate self-defense claim. It is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you with such a case. I have been licensed since 2009 and I devote a substantial portion of my practice to criminal defense. Contact my Louisville office today to speak with a lawyer.