People who are accused of domestic assault often have a hard time defending themselves from the public’s opinion of them. Many people assume that the accused is entirely guilty and probably started the altercation in the first place.

In what could be viewed as an ironic situation, a foreign diplomat was accused of beating his girlfriend several months after a domestic violence seminar was presented at his consulate in New York City. Police arrested the 33-year-old man and allege that he pointed a gun at his girlfriend and pushed her into a wall multiple times. According to police, the man, who serves as an honorary envoy for the El Salvador Consulate, got into a fight with his 30-year-old girlfriend at their apartment late at night.

The woman alleges that the man pinned her against a wall and pointed a rifle at her face. Reportedly, the woman suffered bruises from the incident and was terrified. The envoy contends that he was just defending himself from the woman who was acting crazy and throwing things at him.

He was arraigned in a Manhattan Criminal Court and charged with domestic violence, including second-degree menacing and third-degree assault. He was released without bail.

Domestic violence is a serious offense in New York and charges carry severe consequences. If convicted, a person may be sentenced to probation, ordered to pay a fine or sentenced to a prison term.

Cases like this that are filed in criminal court are accessible to the public. This accessibility can damage a defendant’s reputation and affect their employment opportunities. Someone accused of such serious charges needs to build a strong defense and can benefit from the advice of a legal professional. It’s also possible that a good defense can prevent the case from moving to criminal court and keep it in family court where records are not available to the public.

Source: New York Daily News, “El Salvador envoy waves gun at girlfriend just four months after domestic violence seminar: cops,” Barbara Ross and Corinne Lestch, Dec. 24, 2013