Domestic violence charges are often very significant. After all, no one wants to be labeled as an abuser. That’s why the court gives you an opportunity to defend yourself against domestic violence charges and clear your name.
For some people, an altercation they had with a partner that led to their arrest for domestic violence was really just an act of self-defense. If this happened to you, it’s important to realize that defending yourself in court using self-defense requires some very specific facts. You may think you were justified in taking the actions you did, but it’s not always a simple statement that you acted in a way to protect yourself or others from harm.
Here’s what you need to know about domestic violence in Illinois and how this type of defense can be used effectively in the court of law.
Being Charged for the Wrong Reasons
There are many reasons why someone acting in self-defense may be charged with domestic violence anyway. Some of these reasons include:
Careless Police Investigation
It sometimes happens that police don’t accurately report the details of the scene. This can often lead to charges that are not justified.
Domestic violence altercations often happen in the blink of an eye, without much time to think – only to react. If your actions were misinterpreted by the victim in the case, it may have been because they didn’t have time to really think about what was going on.
There Was No Immediate Threat
In order for self-defense to work, there must be an immediate threat or danger to a person. They must reasonably believe they were in imminent danger. But if there’s no evidence to support that danger was imminent, then it may not be a good defense.
Is Self Defense a Good Defense?
It’s an understatement to say that domestic violence cases are complicated. Often, there is no witness and it’s simply a case of “he said, she said.” That’s why it can be very challenging to know who is telling the truth.
However, when a person uses self-defense correctly, charges can be reduced or even dropped if you can provide the right kind of evidence to show you were acting reasonably in fear of imminent danger.
Your attorney will gather all the details of your case to see if exploring a self-defense line of defense is a good option. The truth is that even if you did act in self-defense, you have to be able to prove that you did. Details – such as the amount of force used and what happened at the scene – all go into formulating and propping up this type of defense.
Why You Need to Fight
If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge in Illinois, then it can really derail your entire life. You can face prison time, yes, but it goes beyond that. You may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, put on probation, lose custody of your children, lose your house, lose your right to vote, and even lose your right to own a firearm.
Criminal convictions will also go on your criminal record, and that can impact your ability to find a job and secure housing for years to come. And if you have professional licensure for your job, or you want a job that requires one, you may not be eligible with a conviction.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.