Domestic Violence False Accusations in Los Angeles, California

False allegations of Domestic Violence aren’t common, but they do happen in California. What are these reasons? Why do people falsely report cases of domestic violence? and most Importantly, How to fight them in the court?

Domestic violence is one of the largest crimes in the United States, as roughly one-million individuals are arrested on these charges each year. Among those arrested, approximately 33% result in a conviction. Many of these allegations made for acts of domestic violence are false and can have devastating consequences for those accused. Those who are facing allegations of domestic violence are strongly encouraged to hire a lawyer to be by their side on every single step while fighting those false Accusations.

California Penal Code section 273.5 (a) reads as follows:

“Any person who willfully inflicts upon his or her spouse, or any person who willfully inflicts upon any person with whom he or she is cohabiting, or any person who willfully inflicts upon any person who is the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years, or in a county jail for not more that one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6000) or by both.”

Domestic violence includes, but is not limited, to the following circumstances:

  • Physical – hitting or burning
  • Sexual – rape or incest
  • Emotional – threatening, insulting or harassing
  • Neglect – poor physical or emotional care

The criminal laws in California do not have a specific “domestic violence” charge, rather these cases are brought as either a misdemeanor or felony offenses that relate to violence. Some of the common offenses that apply to these cases are simple or aggravated assault, stalking, recklessly endangering, strangulation, and more.

Motivation for Making False Accusations

False allegations, most of the times, are made as a means of revenge following an angry dispute. They often involve couples that are entering a separation or divorce, and may be viewed as a means of gaining leverage in divorce proceedings or result from strong feelings of jealousy. The accuser may be seeking to obtain benefits such as court-imposed financial support as part of a protection order, and many others.

Separations, divorce and child custody:

A false claim of domestic violence or abuse may be made in order to gain legal leverage over the other when it comes to divorce or child custody proceedings. In fact, this could be the most common reason for such false claims.

With couple nears separation or divorce, these false claims often arise, especially when children are involved and child custody becomes an issue. False claims of domestic violence or abuse may be also made to subvert the legal process in order for the accuser to gain the upper hand in legal proceedings leading to divorce and establishing child custody. Sadly, this is a common strategy to “game” or “work” the system.

Unless those false claim is disproved, the accused person may lose more financially in the divorce settlement, and he or she also may lose partial or total custody of a child or children.

A false claim of family violence may also be made by one parent in order to turn children against the other parent. Even if these claims of domestic violence are later proven false, the damage may already have been done, casting a bad light on the accused parent that children may find hard to ignore.

Revenge-motivated domestic violence allegations:

When a divorce or child custody battle is not involved, a false claim of domestic violence may be made when one party is vindictive toward the other and wants to exact revenge. Or maybe a heated argument occurs and is misconstrued as actual violence.

Even if only shouting was involved, and no physical abuse or violence actually happened. Or even if the physical contact was limited to grabbing an arm or a hand, without actual violence. A claim still could be made that violence occurred, and that claim would have to be disproved by the accused.

Best Practices When Facing Allegations

There are several things that someone accused should do, some of which may assist your attorney. It is critical that an already difficult situation is not made worse.

Identify Potential Witnesses

Sometimes there will be witnesses to incidents that have taken place. These could be relatives, friends, neighbors or others that may provide an objective account of what occurred.

Gather Relevant Evidence

Collect any related evidence when possible, such as any documented communications. Often there may be dialogue from text messages, voice message, emails, or any other written forms of documentation from your accuser. If you received any medical treatment, these records should be retained along with photographs of injuries incurred. Do not post comments or discuss the case on social media.

Adhere to Protection Order Rules

Always abide by any court orders, as failing to do so can have substantial legal ramifications. Do not contact your accuser directly or through any third-parties outside of your attorney. If there is any unavoidable contact with the accuser, always be sure that there is a witness present.

Collateral Consequences of False Allegations of Domestic Violence

The long-term consequences of domestic violence claims — even if they are unfounded and false — can be debilitating and life-changing for the defendant. First thing first, a restraining order may be issued against the accused, preventing them from returning home and seeing their children.

Millions of restraining orders are issued in the United States every single year, and lots of them are based on false claims and aren’t necessary. But law enforcement takes claims of domestic violence very seriously, and such orders may be issued quickly.

There are a host of potentially harmful ramifications that can occur to those falsely accused. The individual may be arrested, detained in jail, and could loss their work. Those accused of domestic violence often encounter a stigma that damages their reputation.

Many of those facing allegations are surprised how rumors and misinformation can circulate by word-of-mouth and social media. Sometimes the employer of the accused individual may become aware of the situation, which could negatively impact your employment. Based on the nature of the accusations, family members may “take sides” or distance themselves. The individual may have reduced interaction with minor children or potentially be subject to “supervised visitation” that is awkward and uncomfortable.

Ways to Defend Against False Allegations

Your criminal defense lawyer may use a variety of potential strategies to counter false allegations of domestic violence such as:

Using character references to attest that you are not a violent person:

Present evidence showing you are a good parent with an existing relationship with the children (if applicable).

Presenting evidence that suggests the motive of the accuser:

Defendants in domestic violence cases may face criminal penalties, damage to family relationships, serious financial problems, and more. These matters are often complex with protection orders, child custody concerns, and other legal disputes. A knowledgeable defense attorney will act according to your best interests, challenging the credibility of the accuser, establishing that they have a mental health concern and employ other tactics that may significantly reduce the severity of the charges, and others.

Defense Attorney Represents Clients in Domestic Violence Cases:

The speed at which things can get out of hand after a false claim of family assault or domestic violence is among the many reasons why it’s important to have an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer on your side. Attorneys at LA Criminal Defenders Law Group, LACD, have spent many years aggressively representing clients in these matters and will ensure your rights are protected and formulate an effective strategy of defense.

Your domestic violence defense attorney can gather facts and negotiate with prosecutors, perhaps to avoid a charge being made in the first place. And if a domestic assault charge has already been made, your defense attorney can work to get the charge reduced or dismissed.

Our attorneys have over 55 years of combined criminal law experience and are ready to defend you. Call us right away (818) 855-2115, or fill this form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

You also have the option to schedule your 30 minutes face to face Free Consultation with your criminal lawyer through this link. Do not hesitate as we are more than happy to help.