How Do You Defend Against Domestic Violence Charges in New Jersey?

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domestic violence charges new jersey

When New Jersey law enforcement charges you with domestic violence, you might feel that you have no hope of salvaging the rest of your life. However, a Mercer County domestic violence defense lawyer will closely evaluate the facts of your case and determine suitable strategies. Some defenses against domestic violence charges in New Jersey include:

You did not do it

In essence, you claim that the victim suffered abuse at the hands of another person. To substantiate this strategy, your lawyer will argue that you were not near the scene at the time of the crime and/or you have a credible alibi by establishing that:

  • The 911 recording did not pick up your voice
  • Neighbors did not see or overhear you
  • None of the physical evidence proves you were at the scene

The victim lied

Though no one likes to admit it, some people will fabricate stories of domestic abuse. They may do this to receive sympathy, a more favorable child custody ruling or for other reasons. In turn, your defense lawyer will argue:

  • The injuries on the victim actually support your version of the story
  • Your story is consistent with the crime report

It was an accident

With this argument, you do not deny that you were present at the time of injury, only that you did so unintentionally. For instance, while doing some repairs at your house, your hammer slipped and hit your spouse. Your defense lawyer will argue that the location of the hammer, the positioning of your spouse during the accident and other elements establish that you lacked intent.

You were acting in self-defense

You were only trying to defend yourself or your kids when you injured your domestic partner. Under this defense, your lawyer argues that:

  • According to the police report, the victim admitted to having used violence
  • Your current story matches the one provided in the account you gave to the police
  • You have defensive injuries
  • The victim lacks defensive injuries, and/or
  • The victim’s account is inconsistent

The prosecution can’t prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt

Remember in the United States, the prosecution always has the burden of proof. Unless they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions meet the legal definition of domestic violence and that you had the means and opportunity to have committed the offense, a judge or jury can’t convict you of domestic violence.

Your partner’s behavior caused you to do it

You admit to having assaulted the victim but assert that you only did so because he or she was abusing the children, having a serious mental health episode or exhibiting violent tendencies.

You may have done it, but the police violated your Constitutional rights

Whether or not you perpetrated the act of domestic violence, the police committed such egregious investigative errors during the investigation that they violated your Constitutional rights, such as the police:

  • Not reading you your Miranda Rights
  • Denying your request for a lawyer
  • Lacking probable cause to conduct a search or interrogation
  • Not asking you to provide your account of the events before they arrested you
  • Failing to collect physical evidence
  • Not questioning eyewitnesses present at the scene, and/or
  • Failing to sufficiently describe the incident or offer any observations in the police report

To implement any of these strategies, speak with a skilled Mercer County criminal defense lawyer today.


If you face a criminal matter, contact The Law Office of Douglas Herring to schedule your initial consultation.

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