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Domestic violence: Does there have to be physical proof?

While physical evidence such as photographs of bruising can certainly result in domestic violence charges, physical proof of an alleged altercation does not have to be present for an individual to be charged with domestic violence in Connecticut. If physical documentation does exist, however, it can have serious implications for the defendants.

Domestic violence charges commonly result from accusations of physical violence, but they can also be pressed if there are allegations of sexual, emotional or psychological abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse obviously are impossible to show with any kind of physical evidence, which is why they are often the hardest to prove and easiest to defend against. Many of these cases don't even make it to court because it is too difficult to show that the alleged abuse is severe enough to warrant criminal charges.

When a person is accused of physically or sexually assaulting a spouse, partner or other family member, there may be documentation such as pictures taken by police, but this is not always true. It is well known that alleged domestic violence situations do not always involve a cooperative other party, and sometimes accusations do not come out until after any physical evidence that might have been there is gone. In some cases, domestic violence charges may be filed without physical proof if there are witness statements that corroborate the accusations or if there are medical records that suggest suspicious injuries.

Domestic violence charges should also be taken seriously, even if the defendant is falsely accused. A conviction of this type can keep a person from working in certain industries and can impact any ongoing divorce or child custody situations.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Domestic Violence" Aug. 25, 2014

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