What To Do When You’re Falsely Accused Of A Domestic Violence Offense
Domestic violence victims need and deserve to feel safe and protected. The law in Tucson is designed to keep victims from finding themselves in situations where they may be harmed again. While the law is great for victims, it’s a world of trouble for individuals falsely accused of domestic violence. People who have actually committed a crime deserve the consequences – not people who are themselves the actual victims of harassment or revenge.
The Prevalence Of False Allegations
An estimated 700,000 people a year face false domestic violence allegations. It’s an alarmingly common phenomenon, and it costs taxpayers up to 20 billion dollars a year in Welfare expenses for single-parent households that arise from a result of these false charges. As many as 1.5 million false, misleading, or exaggerated restraining orders are issued annually in the United States. Half of all requests for restraining orders don’t allege physical contact. As many as 70% of restraining orders are dubious, if not outright false. If you find yourself being falsely accused of domestic violence, you’re not alone.
Common Causes Of False Allegations
False domestic violence allegations often surround divorce. Most commonly, these false allegations are made to gain leverage in custody battles by a parent who is seeking sole custody. About a quarter of custody battles involve some kind of domestic violence allegation, and most states are required to use these allegations as a factor in determining how custody will be awarded.
In almost all cases, false allegations are used as a retaliation tactic or a way to harm and tarnish the other party’s reputation in some way. Sometimes, false allegations come from a misunderstanding or a different interpretation of a scenario (i.e. sometime claiming they were pushed from behind when they tripped or slipped or an intoxicated person having an inconsistent version of events).
When False Allegations Are Taken Seriously
False allegations are taken just as seriously as real allegations, mostly because the majority of people who don’t want to be found guilty of criminal charges will claim that true allegations are false. The law has no way of knowing what actually transpired, and you may be found guilty of a crime you didn’t commit. That’s precisely why false allegations can pose an even larger reason to worry than genuine allegations.
You may be arrested for domestic violence without actually having committed a crime. When this happens, you need to immediately contact a lawyer for expert advice. If these allegations happen in the middle of a divorce, you’ll want to use an attorney separate from your divorce attorney for the criminal charges. Since these allegations are common in divorce proceedings, many divorce attorneys are very familiar with the consequences and processes associated with these charges. However, there is a significant difference between familiarity and real life experience defending against these charges.
Defending Yourself Against These Allegations
Although it’s intensely frustrating to be accused of a crime you didn’t commit, the last thing you want to do is allow that frustration to show. The person that made the complaint against you may act as an opportunist, claiming your rightful outrage is a normal part of your character. It’s important not to contact the alleged victim or to show your anger during this time. Rather than getting mad, set the record straight.
Start by collecting all the records of your conversations with this person. Text messages, emails, and social media posts will prove to be useful. Look for direct contradictions or threats your accuser may have made against you, especially if this person has attempted to blackmail you with legal intervention in the past.
If there were any witnesses to the event in question, these people should be involved in the case. Oftentimes, their version of events will be vastly different from the accounts of the individual accusing you of domestic violence. Character witnesses may be able to demonstrate that you have no history of violent behavior or abusive conduct in certain situations.
The best way to overcome false domestic violence charges is to swiftly and unemotionally diminish the credibility of the accuser. If it can be demonstrated that the individual who filed the complaint has a history of questionable decision-making. And that you, in contrast, do not. This is usually compelling evidence in the eyes of the court.
Getting Legal Help
Your best chance of avoiding the consequences of false charges is to work with a lawyer who has a wealth of experience defending people against false allegations. Doug Taylor is a Tucson lawyer who can help you win your case. Don’t contact the accuser – contact us. We will be able to arrange a free consultation to review the facts of your case and help you prepare your defense. Your lawyer will be able to tell you what to collect and how to present the evidence. Move quickly, and your accuser won’t have the opportunity to diminish your reputation and put you behind bars falsely.