According to experts, a relationship in which an individual suffers from battered spouse syndrome cycles between three phases.
The General Role of Evidence of Battered Spouse Syndrome in Criminal Cases
Battered spouse syndrome is not a stand-alone defense to a criminal charge and does not automatically compel acquittal.
Evidence of battered spouse syndrome does not remove any question of fact from the jury because, in most jurisdictions, the expert does not testify specifically as to whether the particular defendant demonstrates characteristics of battered spouse syndrome.
Battered women may offer expert testimony regarding battered spouse syndrome to support a defense of insanity, diminished capacity, heat of passion, or duress.
Defendants face several problems of proof in establishing self-defense using evidence of battered spouse syndrome.
Battered spouse syndrome is created by a cycle of physical abuse within a relationship.
One of the earliest cases in this country to allow the defense of battered spouse syndrome was State v.
8] Evidence that a woman suffers from battered spouse syndrome addresses part one of this standard, namely, whether the woman honestly feared for her life.
A defense premised on battered spouse syndrome was all but impossible.
Judicial recognition of the validity of battered spouse syndrome resolves part one of the test; the reasonableness of a defendant's belief that harm was imminent.
21] By removing the absolute duty to retreat, battered spouse syndrome now has legal "teeth" in Florida.