Can You Claim Self-Defense in a Domestic Violence Case - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Sometimes people are charged with domestic violence offenses when really, all they were doing was defending themselves. It’s not uncommon for people to be falsely accused – or even for people who were falsely accused to be convicted of a crime they didn’t actually commit.

If you were simply defending yourself from another person but you were charged with domestic violence, here’s what you need to know.

Can You Claim Self-Defense in a Domestic Violence Case?

When you’re accused of a crime, the prosecutor in your case – that’s the lawyer who works for the state – has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty. You don’t have to prove that you’re innocent; that’s not the way it works.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, your lawyer may be able to tell the court that you were only defending yourself. Really, what that means under Wisconsin law is that you did touch the other party in your case (the one who is claiming to be the victim), but that you had the law on your side when you did so. The law definitely allows you to protect yourself from violence and harm (and in many cases, it allows you to protect other people from violence and harm, too).

For example, if you have no reason to believe that you could’ve left the situation without physically defending yourself (or someone else, such as your child), you may be able to claim self-defense in a domestic violence case. There are limits to self-defense, though. You can’t beat someone unconscious for threatening to hit you, and you certainly can’t intentionally cause someone great bodily harm for throwing a feather duster at you. Typically, when you defend yourself or someone else, your actions have to be proportional to the threat.

Have You Been Accused of Domestic Violence When You Were Really Just Defending Yourself?

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence but it’s really a self-defense situation, Gamino Law Offices may be able to help you. We may also be able to help you if it wasn’t a self-defense situation. Your best bet is to call us right away at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free case review.

Carlos Gamino