Is there physical evidence that undermines defendant’s claim? Police will put into the report a description along with photographs of the scene where the abuse occurred. Was there any blood present or further proof of an altercation including broken furniture, holes in wall, or other destruction of property? Damage or destruction of property leaves tangible proof and provides details about the level of violence that occurred.
Did the defendant make statements inconsistent with this defense? Statements by the defendant can be used by prosecutors to try the case. The US Supreme Court has noted, “The defendant’s own confession is probably the most probative and damaging evidence that can be admitted against him. Is there a written and signed statement by the defendant and did the defendant admit to any prior incidents in the report?
The attorney may review the incident report to seek answers for additional questions such as: Were there any weapons used in the attack? Did the defendant enter the premises unlawfully? Did the defendant violate an order of protection? Was there a sexual assault? What was the defendant’s apparent emotional state? Does the defendant have a history of violence against this victim or others? Are the officer’s observations at the scene inconsistent with the defendant’s version? Are there any signs that either the victim or defendant was high or intoxicated?
Proper crime scene investigation and collection of evidence can be critical to a successful prosecution of a domestic violence crime. Reading the police report is the first step for an attorney to check the validity and severity of a domestic violence case, will help the attorney to understand the level of evidence collected, and to determine if the defendant has incriminated them self by signing statements and if there are witnesses to the incident.