I’ve been charged with domestic violence but it was self-defense!
This is an all too common issue we hear from clients. Unfortunately, many law enforcement agents are under the incorrect assumption that if they go out to a domestic violence call, someone has to be arrested. Although the law does not require that, we do see many times that law enforcement only look into whether a crime happened – for example was someone assaulted or harassed? They often times don’t look much further than that – for example why did this occur and who started it? They don’t explore whether the assault happened because you were defending yourself or others during the dispute. That can be a fatal error on their part but that is why you need a good, experienced criminal defense attorney.
Self defense is an affirmative defense under the Colorado law. What that means is that if you claim self defense in your case, you agree that you did commit the crime you are charged with BUT that you did it for a legally justifiable reason. In the example of self-defense on an assault case, asserting self defense would be mean you agree that you assaulted someone but it was because you were defending yourself or others and thus you cannot be found guilty of the crime of assault.
Very often law enforcement and even the District Attorney handling your case will not know about the surrounding events or things that led up to the incident. A good criminal defense attorney will explore that with you and even have their investigators document any evidence of the surrounding circumstances to be used in court. Things like voice recordings, photos, text messages, video surveillance can all be helpful in painting the full picture for the DA and the Judge in your case. However, many times none of that exists or is available.
If there is no physical evidence of the self-defense, you must consider whether or not you would testify at the trial. This is an important decision that should only be made after close inspection of the evidence in your case and in close consultation with a battle-tested, trial attorney. Our criminal trial attorneys at Maher & Maher Law will give you an honest, no holds-barred evaluation about whether your testimony may be helpful in your trial. It is important to remember that you are always in control and are the only person who can make the decision about whether you testify. However, in self-defense cases it may be a very important piece of testimony for the jury to understand what really happened in your case.
Contact our criminal defense lawyers at Maher & Maher Law today for a free one-hour consultation on your case. We will discuss what we think may be the best strategy in your particular situation and how we can help you get the best outcome for you! Call (719.301.7500) or text (719.424.0057) today.