Verbal disputes can quickly become heated. While most of these disagreements end up fizzling out with nothing more than some hurt feelings, others turn physically violent. When this happens, someone is probably going to end up facing criminal charges. If you’ve ended up on the receiving end of those allegations, then you need to do everything you can to protect yourself, as a domestic violence criminal conviction can have serious ramifications.

Defending yourself against claims of domestic violence using self-defense arguments

Depending on the facts at hand, you might have several criminal defense options available to you. One of the strongest, though, may be self-defense. Under Oregon law, you can us physical force to defend yourself against what you believe to be the imminent use of illegal physical force.

That might sound pretty straightforward, but there’s actually a lot to unpack there. For example, a jury is going to have to consider whether you could have reasonably believed that physical force was about to be used against you. Here, you’ll want to paint a picture of the circumstances. Of course, if someone is already attacking you, then you have reasonable belief that physical force is being used against you.

The same sort of analysis has to be conducted with regard to the “imminent use” aspect, too. So, even if someone wasn’t attacking you, you might have been justified in acting first if you can show that the threat of force was immediate. Again, painting a picture of the circumstances for the judge and jury is imperative.

It’s also worth noting here that you’ll also have to demonstrate that the amount of force that you used was to a degree that you reasonably believed was necessary to protect yourself. Again, you’ll want to carefully analyze that language and apply to the facts of your case.

Building your case

There’s a lot on the line in a domestic violence case. So much so that you don’t want to leave anything to chance. That’s why it’s often best to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will know how to help you build the aggressive and persuasive case that you need to protect your freedom and your future. To learn more, consider researching and reaching out to a firm that you think is right for you.