Philadelphia, PA criminal defense attorney Brian Fishman talks about the importance of understanding motives in domestic violence cases.
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Domestic violence is a very tricky, tricky area of the law. Obviously, we are all told not to put our hands on a woman and let’s be honest, most domestic violence cases are men striking women and there’s never an excuse for a man striking a woman. At the same time, a lot of domestic violence cases happen when both parties are drunk. Perhaps when both parties are high and under the influence and there’s a lot of times where a woman may be antagonizing a man, and again, that’s not an excuse for putting your hands on them, but a lot of times there’s two sides to the story. And as much as we see on the news, you know the one-sided nature of domestic violence I think that people have to be open to the fact that there are two sides to these stories. And a lot of times there can be a motive behind an allegation of domestic violence.
And what I mean by that is you would not believe how many domestic violence cases I have where my client comes in and says, “My girlfriend or my wife saw my cellphone, saw some text messages between me and a female. They got jealous, they thought maybe there was some infidelity or cheating going on. The next think I know they’re throwing my phone at me, they’re throwing other, you know, things around the house at me. They’re doing things to my car, destroying my property and I’m now put in the position where I have to stop them. So I have to grab them to stop them from trying to hurt me. And the next thing you know, police are called.” And a woman is more likely to create a story that may not be in line with the truth because she’s now upset about what she found in that phone. So you really have to look at the motives of somebody who’s making a domestic violence allegation.