Defenses to Criminal Domestic Violence Charges

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “The person that called the police doesn’t want to press charges, can I still be prosecuted?”


North Carolina prosecutors vigorously prosecute domestic violence cases. This strict approach is in response to the general public’s feeling that abuse among partners is heinous and should not be acceptable. As such, a defendant facing a criminal domestic violence charge needs to be equipped with the best defenses possible. The following are common defenses used in domestic violence cases.


fingerprint-Charlotte-Mooresville-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer-217x300Insufficient Evidence


In any criminal case, in order for a defendant to be convicted, or found guilty, of a crime, the prosecutor must meet their burden of proof. In order for a defendant to be found guilty of a domestic violence charge, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must show that “no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime.” The best way to defeat this requirement is by poking holes in the prosecutor’s argument. Presenting contradicting evidence, showing that the prosecutor’s witness evidence is not credible, and finding inconsistencies with the alleged victim’s story are all ways to give that glimmer of doubt a judge or jury needs to not convict.




North Carolina law allows for a person to use force, but not deadly force, against another when they reasonably believe that such conduct is necessary to defend themselves from the other person’s unlawful force. A lot of domestic violence cases tend to be “he said, she said” arguments. Being able to present evidence that the defendant was only using force because the other party initiated the physical contact and unlawful use of force and the defendant was merely defending themselves can be a powerful defense.




If a party voluntarily consents to some act, a defendant can use this as a defense in some situations. While this defense is available, there are very limited circumstances in which it would be applicable. It is likely that there would not be proof of consent other than a verbal agreement between parties. This would be difficult to prove in court if both parties do not agree upon what was said.


False Allegations


Similar to insufficient evidence, false allegations is a broader category. As stated above, domestic situations can turn into a “he said, she said” argument. Therefore, if the defendant can introduce evidence that there was no truth to the allegations of abuse made, it can be a successful defense to the domestic violence charges. Additionally, some situations arise in which an alleged victim names the wrong person as an abuser. A defendant can introduce evidence to prove that he or she was not present at the time of the alleged abuse.


At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we know that any criminal charge can have an unwanted impact on your life. The skilled criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing you with sound legal defense in criminal matters. Do not let one accusation derail your future. Contact the skilled attorneys to find out what solutions or defenses are available to you. Our attorneys stand at the ready to defend you against state or federal charges. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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