Have you been falsely accused of domestic violence? Were you served with a restraining order informing you to keep your distance from the alleged victim? Have you been forced to leave your home and are now forbidden from seeing your children?
Defining Domestic Violence
Domestic violence refers to any behavior aimed at gaining power and control over a spouse, former spouse, partner in a dating relationship, current or former cohabitant, or other intimate family member. Behaviors that encompass domestic violence may include physical violence, sexual violence, threats, stalking, and emotional or psychological abuse. The laws that govern domestic violence are meant to protect victims but the burden of proof is so low that the word of the accuser is immediately believed without letting the accused tell his or her side of the story. If the police are called to check on a domestic disturbance, the accused will almost certainly be arrested on the spot regardless of whether or not a physical altercation actually took place.
The Accuser’s Motivation and What’s At Stake
While many domestic violence cases are valid, there are frequent occurrences of accusers who manipulate the law to exact revenge or seek attention or gain the upper hand in a divorce or custody proceeding. There’s nothing more devastating than being accused of a crime you didn’t commit. Domestic violence charges are serious and can destroy every aspect of your life. You could face jail time, heavy fines, court mandated anger management classes, community service and more. If you are going through a divorce, you may have to forfeit marital assets you are entitled to or pay more alimony than was originally agreed upon. If you are involved in a custody battle, your parental rights could be at risk and you could lose custody or have restrictions placed on visitation, or be ordered to pay more in child support. A criminal record will follow you wherever you go. Anytime a background check is performed — whether it be for a job, housing, or financial aid, your “history” with domestic violence will raise eyebrows.
How To Protect Your Rights
To fight the charges against you, you need a family lawyer in your corner who handles domestic violence cases. Your reputation, freedom, career, and parental rights could all be at stake. An attorney will be a passionate advocate on your behalf to help clear your name and keep your record clean.
In the meantime, there are actions you can take to protect your rights and strengthen your case.
Defending Against False Allegations of Domestic Violence
An experienced domestic violence lawyer will know how to identify an accuser’s motivations and pinpoint inconsistencies in the accuser’s story and expose them in court. An attorney will skillfully cross-examining the accuser, attack their credibility, and present compelling evidence that creates reasonable doubt. Any other evidence of innocence, such as an alibi can be used to achieve a favorable outcome.