Domestic violence charges seem to get a lot of attention when there is a professional athlete involved. In a sense, this is understandable since athletes are public figures and we expect them to be good role models. On the other hand, the kind of attention domestic violence allegations and charges generate when a sports figure is involved is not always fair.
Innocent until proven guilty—that is the way the criminal justice system works. This means that it is the government’s task to provide evidence showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the alleged crime. This often is not the reaction the public has, though, when an athlete is accused of domestic violence, and this is unfortunate. Not only does it expose the accused to potentially undeserved public shame; it can also make it more difficult for the accused to obtain a fair trial.
For those accused of domestic violence, building a strong defense early on strategy is critical. Exactly how this is done depends on the circumstances of the case. In some cases, seeking to minimize charges is the goal. For others, obtaining exoneration is the only fair result. That, it seems, was the case for Dallas Cowboys rookie Jourdan Lewis, who was recently acquitted on one count of misdemeanor domestic violence.
The charges were connected to an incident with a former girlfriend. At issue in the case was the use of a pillow. According to the former girlfriend, he threw the pillow at her so hard that she hit a wall, while he contended that he tossed the pillow in an effort to leave the room where the incident occurred.
Lewis always maintained his innocence, and was confident he would eventually be vindicated. A crucial aspect of Lewis’ defense was the testimony of officers who said they didn’t see any injuries on the woman and that she refused medical attention. She also apparently told investigators conflicting stories.
Each domestic violence case is different, and the way an experienced attorney will build a strong case depends on the facts and circumstances. Whatever the specifics, a strong legal advocate can help give a domestic violence defendant the best shot at a favorable outcome.