A lot of times when accusations are made that the defendant committed a
violent act against another, the alleged victim claims that various bruises
and other marks on the body were caused by the defendant. Usually they
claim that these bruises are evidence of a beating or some criminal restraint
of them so they couldn’t escape or get away from the defendant.
You see these accusations a lot where women are accusing men, and that’s
why an experienced criminal attorney is needed.
The problem is that bruises look bad. In fact they look worse than they
really are many times. Bruising is a fact of life in physical activity
and many times women bruise very easily. Many times a mad female alleged
victim will allege that every mark on her body was caused by a defendant
unlawfully. And, many times these allegations are exaggerated, false,
and the result of a wild sexual encounter before things degenerate into
anger and accusation. Many times these marks are the result of a woman's
actions during an alcohol induced domestic argument: self-inflicted by
flailing around or caused when the defendant attempts to restrain and
calm her down. That is not always the case but if you as the defendant
are the victim of false or exaggerated accusations it merits careful exploration
by an expert. Oftentimes the bruises tell a story that is different than
what the alleged victim says happened.
Attorneys experienced in violent crimes have seen how frequently false
and overblown accusations can surface in encounters between men and women.
A trained attorney who has experience with pathology and the study of
body marks can see the subtle signs that demonstrate a false accusation.
These body marks when studied closely can tell a story. Their color can
tell us when they happened (or didn’t happen!), their shape or lines
within them or along the edges can tell what kind of instrument caused
them. Was it caused by a thumb, fingers, an elbow, a fist, a table edge,
a counter top, a door frame, or some other important fact to know that
will corroborate the version of the defendant.
Another important question to raise about bruising in domestic violence
cases is whether it was even caused when the alleged victim says it was.
As an example, in one case, of alleged attempted rape by a mad ex-boyfriend,
the body of the alleged victim was covered with over 50 bruises. These
marks enraged the deputy district attorney and they wanted to put the
defendant away for a long as possible. The defendant said that the alleged
victim was lying and that she not only bruised easily and often, but had
gone out on a binge for days before the alleged incident.
An expert was able to conclude, from some medication records, that she
did have a blood condition that caused her to bruise easily. More importantly
the colors of many of the bruises had different colors indicating that
various groups of the bruises occurred on different days. Some were as
old as 4 or 5 days before the defendant allegedly attempted to rape her
and beat her. Ultimately, the deputy district attorney understood, and
the defendant was given a felony reducible to a misdemeanor and a year
in local custody. There were aspects of his case that warranted punishment
but not on the most serious charges.
In another recent case an attorney had a situation where an alleged victim
claimed the defendant had hit her in the eye with his fist. The marks
were “ugly” and were part of some other very serious charges.
She claimed that photographs taken of the eye happened on a particular
date. The attorney noticed that the “black eye” was very yellow
and consulted a trained pathologist who concluded that the eye injuries
were probably several days older than possible under the date frame that
the alleged victim claimed. Victims of domestic violence deserve every
protection available to them, but when false allegations can be disproven
by careful examination of the evidence, this must be done to preserve
the freedom of the innocent.