Being charged with a crime is almost always a terrifying and anxious situation. But what if you have been charged with domestic violence and the accusations are untrue? You might find yourself guilty in the court of public opinion before you even start defending yourself against those wrong accusations.
The most import step to take, as we always advice our clients at LACD Law Firm, is not to wait with a hope that those charges to be proven untrue and dropped by themselves. No, this will not happen. You MUST act as soon as possible and hire an experienced Los Angeles Domestic Violence lawyer to defend you against those false accusations. The Law Office of Los Angeles Criminal Defenders, LACD, can help you get through this difficult time by fighting hard to clear you from these false accusations.
Each relationship has its ups and downs. Even happy, long-term marriages include a certain amount of disagreements and fightings between now and then. But when a relationship breaks down, it can lead to more serious conflicts, including allegations of domestic violence.
We all know domestic violence is a serious problem. At the same time, it is also important to understand that false charges of domestic violence are not uncommon. It is not a secret that laws in general – and California laws are not exception of course – are written and enforced in such a manner as to favor accusers over defendants. In a very real sense, domestic violence allegations can turn the table on our constitutional system of justice. That is to say, while every defendant is entitled to a constitutional presumption of innocence until proven guilty, we see far too many cases where prosecutors and police force an accused domestic abuser to “prove” their innocence.
So what are the reasons of false charges in domestic violence cases in Los Angeles, California? And what can you do if you find yourself the victim of such allegations?
Reasons and Consequences of False Domestic Violence Claims
There are many reasons why someone might accuse someone else of domestic violence without evidence, the following are the most frequent ones based on our law firm experience:
- Making up false claims in order to gain advantage in hearings regarding a separation, divorce, or child custody. The end goal of those people of make false accusations of domestic violence against their partner is manly a favorable custody decision or a larger property award.
- Using false claims as a method of revenge against the other partner. The accuser could be angry for any reason with their partner and maybe there were not any domestic violence case to start with. They just want to take revenge.
A domestic violence charge can have a severe impact on your life. 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.
Beside restraining orders you could also face a jail time and financial penalties especially if the other party managed to fake some proofs of physical abuse involved. You could face serious penalties even if it turns out you were falsely accused.
Do’s and Don’ts After Being Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence
Don’t respond to questions without first consulting a lawyer. Even if those questions were from the police you always have the right remain silent. You might be told that officially there is no charges against you at the moment or that the police want you only to tell your side of story and then you will be ok to go. Please don’t believe them as this is nothing more than a ploy to entice you to make statements that can later be used against you.
Don’t speak with the accuser. You might think it is worth trying to talk with the person who falsely accuses you of a domestic violence and that this talk might help the situation. However, it is advisable to refrain from doing so. In most instances speaking with the accuser causes more harm than good. Speak with an attorney if there are reasons you need to interact with the accuser.
Do Have a Lawyer: Following false allegations of domestic violence you should, before anything else, actively and promptly contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible, even before you have been officially charged with a crime. The sooner you have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney on your side, the more positive outcome you can expect.
Frequently Asked Question About DV False Accusations
Perhaps the most obvious scenario for such false charges is a hotly contested divorce or child custody dispute. Parents often file–or simply threaten to file–domestic violence charges with police in an attempt to gain an “upper hand” in resolving outstanding marital issues. Indeed, false domestic violence charges can be a powerful weapon in child custody battles.
In other cases, false domestic violence charges may simply be an act of revenge. Maybe they feel they were mistreated during the relationship and think branding them as a “domestic abuser” in the courts and the public eye will bring them some sort of satisfaction. Oftentimes, accusers do not stop to think about the actual long-term consequences of their actions.
So if you are falsely accused of domestic assault or a similar charge, it is up to you to defend your good name and your freedom. The first thing you should do is hire an experienced Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney to provide you with skilled legal advice and representation.
Working with an experienced attorney can prevent you from making mistakes that may only land you in deeper trouble. One common mistake people make when falsely accused of domestic violence is to confront the accuser directly. In doing so, they might make threats or engage in other acts that in themselves may be construed by the prosecution as domestic violence. And if a criminal charge is already pending – or a protective order remains in effect – the prosecution might view such confrontations as an attempt at criminal witness tampering.
Every case is different, and an attorney can advise you on the best defenses available for your situation. But broadly speaking, here are some of the more common defense strategies:
- The accuser’s testimony is simply unreliable.
- In case of physical contact, the defendant can show they were acting in self-defense.
- There is simply insufficient evidence to support the prosecution’s case.
Potential Defense Strategies for Those Falsely Accused of DV
While the exact strategy used by your Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to fight your false charges of domestic violence will depend on the facts of your case, your attorney may seek to discredit the accuser. This can include showing instances where the accuser’s words are inconsistent, unreliable, or implausible. Your attorney will also likely put together character evidence that is favorable to you and that shows no history or likelihood of committing domestic violence.
At LACD, we work closely with our clients to help them locate evidence for the possible motives for a false allegation of domestic violence. We also help to do a complete background check of the other party to see if they have engaged in these types of false reports in the past. We can even help to locate witnesses who can show evidence of a false allegation so that it can be presented to the DA as part of your defense.
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, calling Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers of LACD can be the very best call you will make. Our Lawyers have more than 55 years of collective legal experience and will aggressively defend your rights and your future. Contact your Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer today: (818) 855-2115.