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Fairfax Criminal Defense Blog

Three Proven Domestic Violence Defense Strategies

Posted by John A. Kassabian | Jun 02, 2021

A domestic violence charge is one of the most difficult challenges someone can face—it can have a life-altering impact on your family, your relationships, and even your ability to find work or housing in the future. But just because this is a challenging accusation to overcome doesn't mean that there is no hope. One of the best things you can do in this situation is to connect with a Loudoun County domestic violence defense attorney. An experienced lawyer will be skilled in crafting a defense that could result in your charges being reduced or dismissed. I'll tell you more about some common and effective defenses below, and when Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C. may be able to help.


Domestic violence self-defense cases are incredibly common, as self-defense is one of the most successful legal strategies for the charge. If you have been accused of domestic assault against a family or household member after acting in self-defense to protect yourself, you may very well have a defense to your case. Under Virginia law, any person who believes—reasonably—that they are in imminent danger of bodily harm, can use proportional force to defend themselves from harm, with the key word here being proportional. That is, you can use no more force, under the circumstances as they appeared to you, than reasonably necessary, to protect yourself from perceived harm. If, for example, someone is being attacked and is worried that they could be killed, and their worry is deemed reasonable, they could use a proportional amount of force, such as a weapon, to protect themselves from death. If, on the other hand, they were simply slapped in the face, they would not have the right to use a deadly weapon—they could only use a proportional amount of force.

In a related defense known as defense of others, Virginia law states that if someone present is being harmed, a third party can defend the victim, again through the use of proportional force. If you were, for example, protecting a child from a violent spouse, this defense could be a possibility.

This all may get a little complicated depending on if the defendant under the circumstances of the case is either without fault, or with fault in provoking or bringing on the fight or difficulty.   

When it comes to how to prove self-defense in domestic violence cases, it can be a difficult task to say the least. Domestic violence cases are incredibly serious, however, so trying to mount a self-defense or defense of others defense on your own would be incredibly difficult. It would likely be in your best interests to work with a Loudoun County domestic violence defense attorney.

Evidence-Based Defenses

Each and every domestic violence case is different, and there are just as many evidence-based defenses as there are cases. If a witness was present during the event, their testimony can be used as part of your defense strategy.

In other cases, there may be text messages, emails, or other forms of written evidence that an attorney could use to show that you were not responsible for the crime you have been accused of. Physical evidence, such as photos of injuries and medical records, could demonstrate that an injury wasn't actually caused in the way the accuser is saying it did.

A domestic violence defense lawyer serving Loudoun County can use any of these types of evidence to argue that the alleged victim's story is not true.

Rights Violations

Another common defense in domestic violence cases is that the accused party's rights were violated in some way during the investigation. If the police arrest an individual without probable cause, or search their home or vehicle without probable cause, this can be grounds for a defense. When you meet with a lawyer, they will ask you for all of the details you remember about your arrest. If it appears that your rights were violated by police, your attorney can use this to make a case in your favor.

Contact a Loudoun County Domestic Violence Attorney

If you were wrongly accused of domestic violence or believe that your rights were violated during the arrest process, Kassabian & Kasabian, P.L.C. may be able to help. John Kassabian has been defending citizens in Northern Virginia from domestic violence charges for over two decades. He firmly believes that everyone deserves a fair trial, regardless of the crimes they committed, and fights for the rights of each and every client he represents.

Get in touch with John for a free consultation today at 703-750-3622.

About the Author

John A. Kassabian

John A. Kassabian joined the family firm in 2002 after having served as a Prosecutor in Fairfax County and Prince William County. Specializing in criminal defense, traffic defense and civil related matters, John has an extensive criminal law background and has handled a wide variety of cases for ...

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