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Evidence Used in Domestic Violence Cases

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Domestic violence cases can be challenging to prove in criminal court. These cases sometimes lack concrete evidence or have witnesses who can testify on the alleged victim’s behalf. This is because instances of domestic violence usually happen in private, and these cases usually come down to the testimony of the two people involved. If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is important to know what evidence that the prosecutor may use against you during the trial. 

Physical Evidence

People arrested for domestic violence are not charged with domestic violence specifically. Instead, they face charges for the underlying crime, such as physical or sexual assault. To prove a criminal case, the prosecutor must show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, prosecutors will first attempt to search for physical evidence related to the crime.

Physical evidence may include many different objects. A personal item broken during an argument, torn or bloody clothing, medical records, and even photographs that detail injuries may be used as evidence. While physical evidence would likely provide the most concrete proof of a crime, these objects may be open to interpretation.

Witness Testimony

If anyone saw, heard, or otherwise knew that the crime occurring, the prosecution will likely bring them in as witnesses to testify in the case. There are usually three types of witnesses in domestic violence proceedings: bystanders, law enforcement officers, and the victim.

  • Bystanders are typically people who witnessed the alleged crime but were not directly involved. 
  • Law enforcement officers who responded to the alleged crime may testify about what they saw.
  • The victim may testify about his or her experiences during the trial.

Incident Reports

Domestic violence is rarely a one-time event. In many cases, there are past incidents where domestic violence was suspected but did not result in an arrest and criminal charges. If this is the case, the prosecution may try to use past incident reports as evidence of the defendant’s history of domestic violence. 

However, past police reports are not sufficient evidence to prove that the crime at hand actually occurred. In these situations, a Washington criminal defense attorney may ask the court to disregard past police reports unrelated to the actual charge. The court can then choose to accept or deny the lawyer’s request.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with Domestic Violence

If you are facing domestic violence charges in Washington state, it can be difficult to know what to do next. You may be worried about the potential implications of the charge and want to defend yourself against these accusations. In these situations, it is important to remain calm, cease contact with the alleged victim, and speak to a Washington criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

A criminal defense attorney can help you understand what to expect during the criminal justice process and prepare you for each stage. He or she can advocate aggressively for your side of the story, helping you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can to discuss your next steps. Call The Law Offices of Mark Treyz for a free consultation at (253) 272-8666 today.

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