Being accused of domestic violence can be one of the scariest things you face, particularly if the claims are false. Domestic violence is an incredibly emotionally charged topic. Due to the severity of domestic violence and the fact that many victims end up dying as a result of these situations, some people automatically believe the accuser no matter what,and that can even include law enforcement.
Unfortunately, the need to believe victims has led to abuse of the system in some cases and accusations of domestic violence are sometimes used as a tactic to get revenge on a former (or current) romantic partner, or try and gain an advantage in a divorce or custody case.
Domestic violence charges can be extremely difficult to deal with, particularly if they’re false. Along with the emotional component, you could lose your job or get a criminal record that could prevent you from gaining further employment. You might lose visitation of your children, you could go to jail,and it can significantly impact your reputation.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of domestic violence charges, what should you do?
Dealing with Police
If you’re currently in a situation where the police are being called on you for domestic violence, do know that in most states someone will almost always be arrested? When someone is arrested for domestic violence, it’s important not to say things that could become a problem for them in court or that they will regret later.
It’s also essential to be calm and polite to the police because if you come off as angry or combative, it’s just going to be a reason for the police to be more likely to believe the accuser.
If you’re taken into custody for domestic violence, you shouldn’t try to make any deals or sign anything. You shouldn’t have any phone conversations that could be problematic, nor should you try and contact your accuser from jail.
When you’re arrested for domestic violence, you’ll see a judge before being released from jail. The judge is who will set the conditions for release—for example, you may not be able to return home, possess weapons of any kind or contact the accuser.
If you hire a lawyer, that person may be able to work and change the terms of your release.
Seek Legal Representation Right Away
If you are accused of domestic violence, whether formally through charges filed by the police, or you believe that someone could try to make an accusation in the future, it can be a good idea to find a lawyer. A lawyer understands the ins and outs of domestic violence cases and can help you protect yourself and gather the evidence you need that will show the accusations are false.
Understanding Domestic Violence
If you’re falsely accused of domestic violence, you might not know much about the technicalities of these situations. Domestic is a term used to refer to violence that happens within a family or relationship.
It’s challenging from a legal perspective because these situations happen in private, so it can be tough to prove or disprove allegations surrounding domestic violence.
Follow Any Restraining Orders
Depending on the specifics of your situation and where you live, there may be a restraining order against you temporarily or otherwise. If there is a restraining order issued against you, don’t breach the conditions or terms.
Sometimes in situations where false accusations are at play, the person making those accusations might try and get you into a situation where you breach a restraining order which can make consequences even worse.
If the person accusing you of domestic violence does try to contact you or reach out, maintain records of that communication, however.
There’s an emergency order of protection, which is a type of restraining order. The requirements for getting one of these are minimal, and an accuser has to do very little to get one in most cases.
This is a no-contact order that can prevent the accused person from going home at all, or seeing their children. If someone has a protective order against them, violating it can put them in jail if they weren’t originally arrested. Violating an emergency protective order can be a Class A Misdemeanor and in a lot of states that are punishable by up to a year in jail.
The thought of being falsely accused of domestic violence can be extremely stressful and rightfully so. If you are in this situation or you could be, seeking legal counsel is the best thing you can do.