So many of the domestic violence charges we see in our office are two people who have
engaged in a cycle of violence against each other. This month the domestic violence charges are against you, but last month they were against your significant other. If this kind of cycle of violence sounds like your situation, then not all hope is lost. There are various legal strategies we can use to help you fight the domestic charges against you.
404 b. Evidence of Similar Transactions in Domestic Violence
This specific statute is one of those resources. This statute understands that domestic violence is often cyclical in nature. Domestic violence “involves patterns of abuse, and can consist of harm with escalating levels of seriousness.” For this reason, the Legislature created this statute in order to allow people who fall into this cycle a chance to prove that there is evidence of similar transactions.
Under this statute, the court will allow evidence of similar acts between the victim and the defendant as well as the defendant and other people. However, evidence of this nature can not simply be used to show that the defendant or the victim are bad people. It can be used to show a common plan, scheme, design, identity, motive, or guilty knowledge or for some other purpose that can be articulated.
Evidence of this nature has to be given to the judge in advance. Only then will the judge be able to assess it and make sure it is not unfair prejudice to either side, especially the defendant, but that it does satisfy the appropriate need.
Evidence of similar transactions is most commonly used against the defendant if he or she has been charged with crimes of a similar nature. However, there are times where this kind of evidence can aid you in your defense. Every case is specific and unique, and it is important to consult an attorney about your case and your options. M. Colin Bresee is especially
M. Colin Bresee is especially experienced with not only fighting this kind of evidence but using it to his advantage. Contact our office to set up a free consultation.
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By Shannon Lynch