Being falsely accused of domestic violence can be a very frightening and stressful experience. Although you know you did nothing wrong, friends, family members, and law enforcement may not know who to believe. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your rights after a false accusation.
Be sure to do the following:
Avoid contact with the alleged victim. Calling, texting, or talking to them in person could worsen your situation. Do not seek this person out in any way.
Gather evidence to support your case. Find photos, videos, documents, or eyewitness testimonies to prove your innocence.
Talk to loved ones you trust. Your loved ones can be invaluable in providing support during this difficult time. Tell someone close to you about your situation.
Contact a defense attorney. Being charged with domestic violence can have serious consequences. If you are being falsely accused, reach out to a legal team right away.
Why Do People Make False Accusations of Domestic Violence?
Unfortunately, false accusations are not uncommon. Partners often use accusations of abuse during custody battles or divorce proceedings to gain the upper hand. Most people know the severity of domestic violence accusations and will use them to limit their former partner’s freedom or prevent them from seeing their children.
False accusations may also be an attempt to ruin a former partner’s reputation. During a divorce, many former spouses become angry and try to lash out. Making false accusations is a way to turn family and friends against a former partner, even if those accusations have no real bearing in reality.
What Mistakes Do People Make After Being Falsely Accused?
Because innocent people wish to prove their innocence quickly, they often make mistakes during an investigation into domestic abuse allegations.
Although it may be tempting to negotiate with the police or reach out to your accuser, doing so can get you into even deeper legal trouble.
If you have been falsely accused, here are the mistakes you must avoid making:
Talking to the Police Without a Lawyer
Police officers will often insinuate that requesting a lawyer makes people look guilty.
However, speaking to the police without a lawyer can help build a case against you, making your conviction that much easier. If you are contacted by the police, always request a lawyer, and do not answer any questions without an attorney present.
Contacting the Accuser
Oftentimes, innocent people think they can work things out if they can just talk to their accuser.
Unfortunately, reaching out to someone who has accused you of domestic abuse often leads to further allegations of stalking or harassment. If the court has issued a no-contact order, talking to your accuser is illegal.
Assuming the Accuser Will Drop the Case
Innocent people know they are innocent, so they often assume the investigation will prove this fact.
Unfortunately, the justice system isn’t so straightforward, and even shaky evidence can put someone in jail. The best thing you can do after being falsely accused is to hire a defense attorney.
What Happens if I Am Convicted of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence convictions can have severe consequences. Depending on the nature of your case, you could be facing jail time or hefty fines. But these penalties aren’t the only potential impacts of a conviction – if you are found guilty, you will have a permanent criminal record that follows you for life, which can prevent you from getting certain jobs or housing. A criminal record can also deprive you of the right to own a firearm and apply for certain government benefits.
Similarly, if you are going through a divorce or custody battle, a domestic violence conviction can make the courts favor your partner’s wishes instead of your own. You may be unable to get custody of your children or split assets equally in a divorce.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help Me?
Being falsely accused of a crime is a very overwhelming experience. With a defense attorney on your side, you can defend yourself and prove your innocence to the court. If you are being falsely accused, don’t leave anything up to chance. Contact The Defense Group at 407-743-8430.