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Defenses Available After a Domestic Violence Arrest

Arrested for Domestic Violence in New Jersey? Here are Defenses Your Attorney Will Consider

While there are many ways that prosecutors can pursue domestic violence charges in New Jersey, there are also several potential defenses to allegations of domestic violence.

Our New Jersey domestic violence lawyers are skilled in defending individuals under all types of circumstances, and we can use our experience to find all defenses you have available. Depending on the circumstances of your case, these defenses may include:


If you were not present when the alleged domestic violence incident occurred, you can defend against your charge by building your alibi. Testimony from friends or coworkers, video footage, photos, and various other forms of evidence can all be used to prove that you did not commit the alleged crime.

Accidental Injury

In some cases, allegations of domestic violence arise out of accidental injuries. If you are being accused of injuring someone during an argument when what happened was really an accident, you do not deserve to be convicted of a crime.

False Allegations

Unfortunately, false allegations or claims are fairly common in domestic violence cases. Often, domestic partners and others will make false allegations, not understanding the severe consequences involved. If you have been falsely accused of any form of domestic violence, a New Jersey domestic violence attorney can work to prove that you are the victim in your case.

Illegal Search or Seizure

When doing searches and seizing evidence in response to domestic violence allegations, the police need to follow various legal requirements. If they failed to follow them, the prosecution’s evidence against you may be inadmissible in court. Without admissible evidence, the prosecution will not be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Illegal Arrest

Law enforcement officers in New Jersey have very little leeway in making an arrest for domestic violence in the State of New Jersey.  Unlike every other crime in New Jersey, where a police officer has discretion whether or not to make an arrest, a police officer responding to a domestic violence call is required to make an arrest under four specific circumstances: (1) if a weapon is used; (2) if a restraining order is violated; (3) if a warrant for arrest has been issued; and (4) If there is a visible sign of injury to the victim (this is to be liberally construed to include any indication that a victim has suffered bodily injury, which shall include physical pain or any impairment of physical condition). Based on these four mandatory arrest criteria, police often have less discretion to arrest in a domestic violence case, as opposed to other types of cases.

Self-Defense or Defense of Someone Else

Were you forced to take action to defend yourself, your child or another loved one? If so, you may have grounds to argue self-defense or “defense of others.” Both of these are common defenses in domestic violence cases, and a thorough investigation may prove that you did what was necessary to avoid severe (or even life-threatening) harm.

Burden of Proof

In all domestic violence cases, the prosecution has the burden of proof. This means that they must prove that you are guilty — you do not have to prove that you are innocent. By challenging the prosecution’s evidence and theories, our attorneys can work to prevent the judge or jury from concluding that you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Why You Need the Help of Helmer Legal After a Domestic Violence Arrest

While these are some of the most common defenses to domestic violence charges in New Jersey, these are not the only available defenses. When you choose Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our New Jersey domestic violence lawyers will look for evidence of police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct and any other issues that provide grounds to fight your domestic violence charge.

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