There is no doubt that domestic violence is a horrific problem. But there is more to the problem than most people think. The justice system has come to believe accusations without all the facts. Part of the reason for this is because true victims should never feel afraid to speak up and seek justice. While this is absolutely true, there are a large number of false accusations made every year. Shirley Wray wrote for Ms. JD that each year 1.5 million restraining orders are issued based on false accusations of domestic assault. That number is staggering and absolutely justifies a larger conversation about false accusation of domestic assault crimes.
Accusations in Divorce
Most of the time divorces are the result of very hurt feelings and often times anger. A quarter of all divorces include domestic violence accusations as at least one motivating factor. Many times one side will utilize domestic assault accusations over the other to obtain leverage in child custody. Countless orders of protection are issued based upon false accusations each year simply as an attempt to get the upper hand in a custody situation. While certainly not always the case, the opportunity is there to abuse the system.
What’s the Penalty for False Accusation?
While filing a false police report is almost always met with a criminal charge itself and taken very seriously, this is not true in the case of domestic abuse charges. Because the perception is that to charge those that wrongly accuse someone of such a crime may prevent other victims from speaking out, the false reporting is overlooked. Currently 32 states have no requirement to show evidence of physical assault. With no penalty for filing a report falsely and without having to show any proof of assault, this sadly opens the door to false reporting that can devastate innocent lives.
How to React if Falsely Accused of a Domestic Assault Crime
Too many people in this country assume that because they know that they are innocent, truth and justice will always prevail. Without taking important steps to defend yourself, this is nothing more than a pipe dream. Our system of justice guarantees a fair trial and the right to your day in court. The following important steps are absolutely necessary for you to follow in the event that you find yourself accused of a domestic assault crime.
- The first thing to do is find a defense attorney that handles domestic violence cases. Not all attorneys specialize in all areas. Criminal defense work is very different than doing corporate law, divorce law or personal injury. Finding the right attorney for domestic assault crime defense should happen as quickly as possible.
- Begin gathering together any evidence to prove your case. Are there witnesses to the event in question? Can you put together people that can speak positively about you and your character? Any text messages, voicemail or email that was exchanged between you and the accuser that supports your defense will also be important.
- Keep yourself calm in court. The worst thing you can do in this situation is display anger, hatred or a desire for revenge. Everyone will be aware of your body language, so don’t stare at the other party or raise your voice. A good attorney will prepare you for how you should act in the courtroom.
If you find yourself as the victim of a false accusation of domestic assault, don’t panic. Seek the best criminal defense attorney for domestic assault crimes. While bad things happen to good people sometimes, we believe in getting our clients the relief they deserve. Contact us today to start working to secure the justice you deserve.
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