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Is arguing self-defense your best criminal defense option?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Domestic Violence

We’ve all been in a disagreement with a loved one before. But sometimes those disputes go beyond verbal altercations and turn physical. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, then you may end up facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing and labeling as a domestic abuser. The penalties for a conviction related to domestic violence can be extensive, too, which is why you need to know how to properly defend yourself.

Can you raise the issue of self-defense in your case?

One of the strongest defenses in a domestic violence case is self-defense. Under Colorado law, you have the right to use force to defend yourself. Before that use of force will be deemed legally justified, though, you’ll have to show two things. First, you’ll have to be able to demonstrate that you reasonably believed that the force you used was necessary to protect against imminent harm. Second, you have to show that the amount of force that you used was appropriate given the context of the situation.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of legal nuances here. For example, a judge or jury is going to assess whether your belief that force was necessary was reasonable. The finder of fact will also be tasked with assessing whether the threat of harm against you was imminent, meaning that it was immediate and not just a threat. Also, you can’t successfully raise self-defense if you were the initial aggressor who instigated the physical altercation.

Build the strongest defense possible

When facing domestic violence charges, you need to be prepared to proactively build an aggressive criminal defense if you hope to protect your interests as fully as possible. That means educating yourself on your defense options and knowing how to gather the evidence to support it. Fortunately, if you need help in that regard, then you can turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance.