If you have been charged with domestic violence in Las Vegas, be prepared – you are already at a disadvantage right from the very start. Your criminal defense attorney will remind you that facing a domestic violence charge puts you at a worse position than other crimes because of the circumstances involving you and the alleged victim. For additional reading, please read “Domestic violence accusations, unfair or not?”
History of domestic violence or crime
The prosecution will likely tell the jury about the defendant’s history of domestic violence or crime, if any. This is harmful for the defense’s case even if it was for a separate crime (i.e. traffic tickets), alleging that the defendant can commit domestic violence because of fallacious reasoning. Television programs and movies also do not help the defendant because they may paint the defendant as the “bad guy” or a liar just from the fact that they have committed a crime in the past.
Ignoring the “victim’s” violent history
Some judges have ruled in the prosecution’s favor by suppressing evidence about the alleged victim’s violent history, saying they are doing this to protect the alleged victim, and that this trial is about the defendant. Even if the defendant has prepared evidence that supports their assertion of self-defense, all of it may become useless if it was suppressed.
The prosecution will try their utmost to stop the complaining victim from reconciling with the defendant under the guise of protecting them. They do this by issuing protection orders so they cannot contact each other, and by submitting the victim to a victim witness coordinator, which can convince them that they really were victims.
Recanted testimonies can be used as evidence
Because of the many supposed advancements in domestic violence psychology, anything can be used as evidence against the defendant. Take for example, the victim changing their story; domestic violence experts can claim that they’re a victim if they change it because they were “traumatized” by the event, and if they stick to their story, they can still claim that they were traumatized.
Additional charge of “dissuading the witness”
If the defendant calls the alleged victim to reconcile, this can be taken as evidence against them for dissuading a witness.
One of the misconceptions about domestic violence is that it is more likely for men to commit domestic violence compared to women, when actually, the statistics have been skewed. Men are less unlikely to report their partners because they might be seen as weak or unmasculine. On the other side of the same coin, women are always looked at as the victims because they are “innocent and physically weak”, when they could be abusing their partner through other means.
If the defendant is a woman, another misconception is that women are unreliable witnesses because they are too emotional or misandrist.