In our last post, we wrote about a recent case near San Antonio in which an unarmed man was shot to death by two police officers after seemingly surrendering. As we noted, there is no video footage of the seconds immediately preceding the fatal shots and the case is currently under investigation.
Although domestic violence incidents usually don’t result in fatal shootings as in this case, the investigative work leading up to an arrest is not always complete or well done. For instance, not all cases of domestic violence involve a clear cut situation in which there is an obvious abuser and an obvious victim. Relationships are complicated, and police aren’t always able to sort out the dynamics and the facts of the case.
What looks like assault may in some cases be self-defense. One party’s accusation may in fact be a way for him or her to influence the outcome of a child custody proceeding. Or, both parties may be equally at fault in terms of abusive behavior.
Regardless of the facts of the case, it is imperative that those who are arrested work with an experienced attorney to make sure their case gets the attention and advocacy it deserves. Although prosecutors will not bring a case to court they know they will ultimately lose, it can sometimes happen that prosecutors choose to bring cases with questionable evidence or evidence that is incomplete given all the facts.
Even in cases where the allegations are accurate, it is important for a domestic violence defendant work with an experienced advocate to ensure prosecutors are held to their full burden of proof and to work toward minimizing the consequences of the charges.