As a lawyer, I know that all of my clients deserve the right to be thought of as innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. Unfortunately, there are a number of crimes that often carry a stigma that can lead to the perception of being guilty regardless of the facts. Among these, the highest profile is domestic violence. Partly due to the large number of cases being talked about and the number of NFL and MMA people bringing notoriety to the subject, and partly because domestic violence is such a very personal crime, it is easy to see someone accused of it as being guilty. As your lawyer, I know things are not often what they seem, and so if you have been accused of domestic violence, it is my job to bring all the facts to light and ensure that your reputation is cleared up, along with any charges.
Domestic violence occurs when someone is physically assaulted by someone in their intimate circle, most often a partner. There are other forms of domestic violence as well, including financial domestic violence and emotional abuse. These are all taken under the banner of domestic violence and can be used by a prosecuting lawyer to make a case of domestic violence. It is important if you have been accused of domestic violence that you follow the advice of your lawyer very carefully so as to not make things worse and to help build a case for your defense when the day in court arrives.
As your lawyer, the first thing I will tell you is if there is an order of protection, a PFA, Protection from Abuse, temporary or permanent, or a restraining order, you should follow exactly as laid out. Typically, I will counter-file to make sure you are also protected and that the other person cannot violate your rights with the help of their restraining order. In addition, it is important that should you have to interact with the other party, such as in child exchanges in a custody case, (a separate or included part of a divorce case), that you have a witness present who can verify there was no intimidation or threats made. This will help you with credibility and also to discredit them if they make false claims.
Verify where you were when the alleged incidents occurred. As a lawyer, I will very often find that when the person was accused of domestic violence, they have a verifiable alibi. A good example is that you were on the phone at the time the incident occurred, something that can be corroborated with phone records and the testimony of the person with whom you were speaking. These are small things but can go far in helping to prove your innocence.
Finally, I will need to go through the testimony and statements made by the accusing party. Very often, people who are making up stories will embellish as they tell the story repeatedly. I will want to identify embellishments or exaggerations in the stories told to friends and relatives, police officers, attorneys, and the court itself to show there is a pattern of inconsistency and exaggeration.