Usually when you talk about being able to prove a domestic violence case, the prosecutors are going to need to have evidence.
Probably the biggest piece of evidence that I see is injuries. So, when the police go out to domestic violence scenes where someone has called 9-1-1, which is another piece of evidence, the 9-1-1 tape, someone claiming this person hit me, they're attacking me, the person's screaming. You can hear fear in their voice.
That's evidence right there. Good evidence for the prosecutors if the alleged victim is on the phone saying they're being attacked. They've been hit. He's coming for me. I've locked myself in the bathroom.
Physical Evidence At the Time of Arrest
Another piece of powerful evidence is physical evidence. The person says when the police get there that he punched me in the eye and there's a black eye or the eye is red or there's scratches, bruises, cuts or broken bones.
These are all domestic violence evidence related information for the prosecutors. The police come out and take pictures of it so they can memorialize it because a lot of times alleged victims will try to change their story to help their significant other.
So, the police want to make sure that not only do they have the statement, the 9-1-1 tape, but they also have pictures to show the jury the physical evidence.
In other words, how else did the victim get the back eye? How else did the person get those scratches or choke marks on their neck.
Witnesses and Defendant's Own Statements
So, physical evidence is a big thing that prosecutors use. They also use witnesses. Sometimes neighbors will hear fighting, yelling, screaming. Sometimes people will get in a fight out in public where witnesses can see.
The police will take the witness statement, information, name and phone number and then they'll subpoena those witnesses to court to use against the people who are charged with domestic violence.
Probably the most powerful piece of evidence in a domestic violence case is the defendant's own statements. In other words, the defendant tells the police, yeah I'm sorry. I got angry. I hit the person. I choked the person, whatever the case may be.
That is very good evidence in a domestic violence case. If somebody is foolish enough to give a statement to the police, a lot of times the police will have their bodycam on and they'll capture that statement on bodycam and now they've got good solid, powerful evidence to use in a potential case.
So, there's all sorts of different evidence. One thing that people get confused about is, they will say, they don't have any evidence. I don't know what the evidence is. They don't need to have video tape of you hitting the person.
Reviewing Evidence with a Criminal Lawyer
If the person says they were hit and the surrounding circumstances look like they were hit, then that's good enough evidence to prosecute you for a domestic violence-related offense.
Your best bet is to get with an attorney. I meet with people all the time. I've handled California domestic violence cases now for 25 years. Tell the attorney what happened. Give them a fair account. Don't just put your best foot forward.
Let them know the other side so they can really assess the case and help you make a decision on exactly what you're going to do moving forward with your domestic violence-related offense.