November 19th, 2019


What to Do After a Domestic Abuse Charge?

Domestic abuse covers a very wide range of issues associated with families when there has been possible criminally aggressive behavior involved on the part of some family member. Charges are generally related to specific households and typically there must be a family element regarding the issue. Some cases are very serious, but others may be borderline at the most even though charges were filed. According to the Minnesota Domestic Abuse Act, charges must contain evidence of certain categorized actions committed by a family member, and injury is not absolutely necessary for charges to be admissible for prosecution. This range of possibilities means that many of those charged with domestic abuse are not necessarily guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which can established by a experienced Woodbury criminal defense lawyer when the case goes to court.

Justifying a Domestic Abuse Charge

The first issue in a domestic abuse case is if charges are even necessary. Many families have heated arguments that can result in physical interaction and combative behavior, but any case must contain evidence of one of the following definitive actions:

  • Physical harm
  • Fear of physical harm
  • Terroristic threats
  • Acts of criminal sexual conduct
  • Interference with an emergency call

Evidence Evaluation

Just as with any other criminal case, all evidence being used as a basis for the charge must be evaluated for admissibility. Your Woodbury criminal defense lawyer from JS Defense can inspect each article of evidence for valid application and request suppression of unacceptable articles. This can include testimony from both witnesses and accusers who can be cross-examined in a hearing if necessary to pinpoint weaknesses in the case, especially if there is no physical injury evidence.

Potential Penalties

One of the problems with domestic abuse charges is that the threshold for conviction can be very low because anecdotal evidence can be allowed. No physical harm is necessary for a conviction, and the weighing of evidence becomes an issue of totality. Typically there is also one particular individual pressing the charges. While the best remedy is often an emergency protective order as opposed to an actual conviction, cases established with valid evidence can result in up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. Particularly egregious cases with extenuating factors and potential additional charges can result in enhanced charges that could be filed as a felony. The long-term effect of a domestic violence conviction can be devastating to the defendant, and it is always important to defend against the case for a favorable outcome such as a deferred judgement.

Never assume that a domestic violence charge is not a serious legal matter. Anyone charged with a crime should use their rights to defend the case. Minnesota residents should always call JS Defense for solid criminal defense representation. Defending your charge is as much about your future as it is about your freedom. Call JS Defense today.