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How to Argue the Evidence in a Domestic Violence Case

February 5th, 2020 at 3:42 pm

IL defense attorney, IL domestic violence lawyerDomestic violence cases pose many problems for both the prosecution and defense. One of the biggest challenges that arise in these cases pertains to evidence. Domestic violence typically takes place behind closed doors in a private home. As such, they are very difficult to prove for the prosecution, and there is always a challenge for the defense when attempting to prove that something never took place. Below are a few types of evidence that the prosecution may use in a domestic violence case, and how a criminal defense attorney may argue against them.

Physical Evidence

In domestic violence cases, the prosecution will rely heavily on physical evidence. This is because juries are more likely to believe facts rather than evidence that may be clouded by a person’s own biases or opinions. For this reason, the prosecution may use photographs of the alleged victim’s injuries, or of property that was used during the alleged act.

Although this type of evidence seems very damaging at first, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will know how to argue against it. For example, injuries depicted in photographs may have been sustained in an accident and not during a crime. Property may have been damaged as a result of being dropped on the ground, and not because it was used to hit another person.

Witness Testimony from Bystanders

Testimony provided by bystanders in domestic violence cases often relies on what a person heard rather than what they saw. Domestic violence rarely occurs out in the open when people can actually see what is happening. However, a neighbor may overhear an argument that they assume is part of domestic violence. When testimony relies on what a person heard, a defense attorney can argue that the event was simply an argument and that no physical violence actually took place.

Witness Testimony from the Alleged Victim

In many cases, the alleged victim may take the stand to testify against the alleged perpetrator. This evidence can seem very damaging at first, as they will likely tell a jury their version of events, and hope to gain sympathy. A criminal defense attorney will know how to refute this testimony as well. They may submit evidence such as text messages or emails that falsely accused the defendant in the past, or other evidence that can prove these claims are false.

Testimony from Police Officer

The police officer that visited the scene at the time of the alleged crime will play a central role in any domestic violence case. The prosecution will likely call the officer to testify about their observations once they arrived on the scene. This testimony is not always as damaging as the prosecution hopes.

For example, if the alleged victim does not testify, but the officer testifies about statements the victim made, those statements could be considered hearsay. Hearsay refers to the act of one person testifying about statements another person heard. Because this is not direct, or first-hand evidence, hearsay is generally considered inadmissible in court, which means the judge will instruct the jury to disregard that evidence.

Facing Charges? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

It is never easy to face criminal charges, but those involving domestic violence are some of the worst. They can ruin a person’s reputation and worse for those convicted, they come with harsh penalties such as high fines and jail times. It is for this reason that if you have been accused of domestic violence, you must speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our attorney has the necessary experience to defend against these charges and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

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