When a Domestic Violence Victim Is Mistaken as the Aggressor

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 17, 2023 | 0 Comments

Lumberton Deputy Mayor Gina LaPlaca was recently arrested on allegations of domestic violence for allegedly assaulting her spouse, Jason Carty. LaPlaca faced similar domestic violence allegations against Carty in 2017, although she was apparently the victim in both instances, mistakenly identified as the aggressor. This is substantiated by her husband, who confirms that he was the aggressor in both incidents, was at fault, and did not want her arrested. The unfortunate fact is that police misidentify individuals as perpetrators of domestic violence more often than many people think. Mandatory arrest laws have been a significant factor in the increase in domestic violence charges. If you've been arrested, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit your details online.

NJ Mandatory Arrest Law

New Jersey has a Mandatory Arrest law, under which police must arrest one party in a domestic dispute in certain situations, including if there are signs of injury or if a restraining order violation is involved. The police must try to determine which party is the aggressor and will look to witness statements and types of injuries to try and make this determination. Sometimes both parties will have injuries, and this determination becomes more difficult.

Why Police May Arrest the Wrong Person

Police may be required to make an arrest because the mandatory arrest statute controls, but they have difficulty determining which party was the aggressor. The police may be biased by interaction with the person who called in the incident, who may have blamed the wrong party. Other witness statements may be so contradictory that it is impossible to be certain which party is the victim. Police may look at "defensive" versus "offensive" wounds without the ability to differentiate between them. One party may simply be more vocal and more likely to challenge police, thus giving the impression that they are aggressive when they are, in fact, the victim.

If You Are Charged With Domestic Violence

As this scenario shows, it is easy to find yourself facing allegations of domestic violence, and the consequences of these allegations can be devastating. But no one should face this challenge alone. If you are charged with domestic violence, the Lento Law Firm can help.

Seeking Dismissal of Charges

A prosecutor may dismiss domestic violence charges where it becomes clear that proving the charges will be difficult. Dismissal is more likely where:

  • The alleged victim recounts allegations or gives many inconsistent versions of events.
  • Physical evidence to corroborate the charges is lacking.
  • Witnesses provide inconsistent statements on which party was the aggressor or was at fault.

While the court will not dismiss every domestic violence charge, the Lento Law Firm Team will work to build a tough and effective defense strategy in order to protect your rights and secure the best outcome possible.

Lento Law Firm Team

The Lento Law Firm understands the immense impact domestic violence charges can have on individuals and families. If you or a loved one is facing allegations of domestic violence, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit your details online, and we will contact you.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.