How best to fight a charge of domestic battery?

I was recently charged for DB. My wife and I had gotten into an argument and she ended up pouching me in the face, leaving me with a black eye. She then called the cops and said that I had hit her. When the cops questioned her about my black eye, she stated that I must have given it to myself. She had no marks on her, but insisted that I was the one hitting her. We were both charged and issued summons in lieu of arrest. The police took pictures of my black eye for evidence. I have never had an offense before this. What are the odds of having having my charges dismissed? Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? In New Orleans, LA.

Asked on December 2, 2010 under Criminal Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

DEFINITELY speak with a criminal defense attorney--and before you do so, do not say anything to the police or other authorities. (Invoke your constitutional right against self incrimination, often called the right to remain silent.) Essentially, while you need to heed your attorney's advice, there are two strategies: (1) attack the evidence or proof, to show that there's no evidence, for example, of you actually striking her; (2) attempt to bargin to a lesser offense or punishment, such as by showing contrition and citing your lack of a record. What is better will  depend on the circumstances, which is why you need to talk to a lawyer in depth. Also consider whether you should speak with a divorce attorney--from what you write, your wife lied to the police to get you arrested.

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