If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime, you may be nervous about the possible consequences or penalties if you are convicted. It’s important to know that these cases are often overcharged. This means allegations can be heavy, and so can the consequences if you are convicted of the crime. A criminal defense attorney with a background in family law can help guide you to your options, and help show your side of the story to possibly reduce or avoid harsh consequences.

So how would an attorney defend you in a domestic violence case? There are several things the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, in order to convict you of the crime. Further, there are several defenses an attorney could present to cut the allegations down.

Here are three possible defenses to domestic violence charges:

1) You did not act intentionally, or if someone was injured – it was an accidental action: Because the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew what you were doing and intended to act in a way that threatened or resulted in bodily harm, if you did not mean to physically harm someone or threaten to harm them, an attorney can show your true intentions. Showing your side of the story and what was happening from your perspective could help your case.

2) You acted in self-defense: If your actions were a reaction or a result of your own feelings of being threatened or physically harmed, and you ended up trying to prevent yourself from harm or from further harm, this is a common defense to domestic violence or assault charges. Physically protecting yourself from real danger or harm is a valid defense for domestic violence charges.

3) You did not actually commit any act, but are being blamed wrongfully: Unfortunately, sometimes a spouse or live-in partner or family member will try to threaten or blackmail someone into doing something by using domestic violence accusations. If the allegations against you are not truthful, and someone simply made it appear that you committed domestic violence acts against them, an attorney can present the facts and help clear you of charges as much as possible. This is where having an attorney familiar with the area of family law can help with the dynamics of your case.

Texas law classifies domestic violence crimes differently depending on the type of violence in the situation, the relationship of the victim to you, and whether you have past convictions for the same or similar crimes. If you have questions about possible defenses or consequences to a domestic violence charge, an attorney who is skilled in both family law and criminal defense is a wise option for a consultation to answer your questions and look at your specific case.