Self-Defense in New York Domestic Violence Cases

Self-defense is one of the various ways to defend domestic violence offenses. The most common defense is that the reported incident was an argument that did not violate any laws. An experienced domestic violence attorney can argue that it is not illegal for a couple or married couple to get into an argument. Contact a lawyer to discuss the potential to use self-defense in New York domestic violence cases.

What is Self-Defense?

Self-defense in New York domestic violence cases is considered an affirmative defense. The law deems this argument acceptable if a reasonable person is in fear of physical injury. Under this legal requirement, individuals are allowed to use some sort of physical force to defend themselves. However, the force used cannot be deemed as excessive. New York does not force people to let themselves be assaulted and not do anything about it. If a reasonable person is in fear that something is going to happen to them, they are allowed to take steps to prevent it.

What Constitutes Defense of Others?

The legal defense of others is similar to self-defense in New York domestic violence cases. However, someone is allowed to step in defense of somebody else if they reasonably believe that that person is in danger of physical injury.

Related Domestic Violence Defenses

Other defenses an attorney can use can include that the complainant is lying about the extent or the escalation of the argument. Sometimes, an incident gets escalated and provoked by the other party. It becomes a viable defense to show that the complainant in the case was actually the one who precipitated the whole incident and is really responsible for everything that happened.

Common Evidence Used in Self-Defense Arguments

The evidence that a defense attorney would want to compile when using self-defense in New York domestic violence cases is anything that can corroborate the defendant's narrative of the events. This could include any surveillance video or witness statements. If the defendant sustained injuries, especially if their injuries were more severe than the complainant, then their own medical records may be used to show that this one incident was self-defense.

Benefits of Working With an Attorney

There is a huge benefit in hiring an attorney who is familiar with the New York State laws, both the charges themselves and, potentially, any affirmative defenses. Hiring a local attorney can also be useful if you are interested in pursuing an argument of self-defense in New York domestic violence cases.