No matter how ridiculous it might sound, even men can claim self-defense to get domestic violence allegations against them dismissed. We imagine your reaction to this statement to be “Wait, seriously?” We get it. But let us explain.
Defending oneself against false domestic violence accusations is not something they teach us in school. And it’s not like these accusations are going to disappear in the blink of an eye. Most likely, false domestic violence allegations are going to disrupt your life and cause a great deal of distress and frustration.
What about defending against domestic violence allegations with self-defense? Does it make any sense if you are a man facing a domestic violence claim against a woman? “It might make sense,” says our Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney at Okabe & Haushalter.
In some cases, the defendant (the party who is being accused of domestic violence) can claim self-defense in order to escape criminal prosecution. If a self-defense claim is declared early on to support the defense, it may get the domestic violence allegations dismissed.
However, judges and juries are not eager to believe men who claim self-defense in domestic violence cases nowadays, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement. “You may be surprised how many men take advantage of the self-defense claim in order to escape liability,” says our experienced domestic violence defense attorney in Los Angeles.
Nonetheless, the number of women who falsely accuse men of domestic violence is disturbingly high as well. But let’s get back to our primary topic here: How do men claim self-defense when being accused of domestic violence by a woman?
Under California law, domestic violence allegations against you can be dropped or dismissed as long as you can prove that you defended yourself within the boundaries of the law. In order to determine whether or not the act you did during the alleged domestic violence incident falls under self-defense, it is highly advised to consult with a Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney.
One of the most critical points when it comes to determining if a self-defense claim can apply in a domestic violence case, is whether or not there was the immediate presence of a threat to the defendant. If the alleged victim in a domestic violence case had the intent to cause injury or murder the defendant, his or her actions can be justified, and thus cannot be considered domestic violence.
Therefore, the key point here is to prove the existence of an immediate threat, which prompted the defendant to react to the threat and act accordingly. However, here’s where many men who claim self-defense in domestic violence cases end up getting their claim dismissed.
After proving the presence of an immediate threat, the defendant must also prove that the act of self-defense was committed with no more force than was necessary to defend himself against a woman. Obviously, if the defendant chose to use too much force to defend himself against the threat or committed follow-up actions like repeatedly beating his unconscious wife, the victim may still have enough grounds to win the domestic violence case.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at Okabe & Haushalter concludes that in order to succeed in his efforts to use the self-defense claim in a domestic violence case, a man must prove that there was the immediate threat, he acted within the limits of self-defense, he used as much force as was necessary to defend against the threat, and he had no intention to cripple, main, or fatally injure the alleged victim of domestic violence.