Overcoming Prejudicial Policies in Domestic Violence Defense

- Dmitry Gurovich

Today’s society tends to shy away from open discussions of domestic violence. This is a tragic oversight when considering the increasing number of cases that are reported each year against both men and women. Unfortunately, men have traditionally found harsher treatment under the laws in this issue, as is evident in counties around the country that have what is called a “No-Drop Policy.”

A No-Drop Policy refers to the widespread policy among prosecutors to proceed in Domestic Violence cases where the victims refuse to cooperate. In some cases, this policy applies only toward male defendants, which shows one of many areas of Domestic Violence law that is prejudicial toward men. In some cases where no crime was committed, a woman may call the police out of anger only to find later that she is unable to drop the frivolous charges.

These cases must be treated very seriously as the consequences are very harsh.  In every case, we fully investigate all aspects of the case to protects our clients interests.  Recently, our client, a former heavyweight boxer was accused by his fomer girlfried that he physically abused her over a long period of time.  This man stood 6’8” in height and weighed 275lbs.  The alleged victim was a very petite woman.  The police detective and prosecution were quick to assume that the victim was being truthful and initiated criminal proceedings against our client.  After a lengthy investigation, we discovered the the electronic images provided by the victim to the detective contained Photoshop metadata.  Due to this evidence and other that was uncovered, we proceeded to trial.  The Jury came back with a Not Guilty for the Domestic Violence and Vandelism counts!

Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges

If you have found yourself charged with Domestic Violence, it is imperative that you immediately consult with a qualified attorney. There will be legal technicalities and policies in place that need to be considered when proceeding, and an attorney will be able to help you navigate the process of proving your case. Here are a few of the most common defense strategies:

  • Self-Defense – It is not uncommon for someone to be charged with Domestic Violence for attempting to protect himself from attacks by his partner. Though the partner may be the aggressor, it is often the person with the most injuries who is considered the victim. Proving self-defense can be difficult, but it is often effective when circumstances and evidence support it
  • Deliberate False Allegations – A common defense, particularly in cases that involve child custody and divorce, is that the partner or spouse has manufactured the abuse allegations in a deliberate attempt to gain leverage and power in civil proceedings. This defense is most effective when inconsistencies and holes in the victim’s story are brought to light by comparing it with facts and witness accounts
  • Failure to Meet Burden of Proof – In certain cases the best defense may be to analyze the prosecution’s case and consistently point out where it fails to meet the legal burden of proof for a conviction. Thankfully, the legal system does require the prosecution to prove guilt rather than requiring the defense to prove innocence
  • Wrong Person – It may not be possible in all cases, but if the defendant can prove that he was somewhere else at the time of the attack, it is a very effective strategy to provide a solid alibi

Getting Help

Sadly men account for nearly a third of the victims nationally in domestic violence cases, and that does not take into account the hundreds, possibly thousands, of cases that involve falsely accused fathers and husbands. While the system is setup to protect women’s rights, potentially to the detriment of men’s civil rights, it is still possible to get justice. A lot depends on getting an attorney with the right experience who can ensure your rights are protected.

The attorneys at Gurovich, Berk & Associates have a combined total of 35 years dealing with domestic violence defense cases. When your freedom and reputation are on the line, we are the ones with the experience to make the law work for you.

We invite you to call us today at (213) 385-1555 to arrange an initial consultation.