Hollywood has perpetuated the idea that domestic violence defense lawyers are the “bad guys,” defending thugs who last out physically against their significant other, children, or family members. In reality, defendants may be falsely accused of domestic violence for several reasons such as leverage in a custody battle or divorce proceeding, false allegations, or a misunderstanding by police of what actually happened.
In order to better understand how Hollywood got domestic violence lawyers all wrong, this article will discuss common situations that result in false accusations of domestic violence.
A defendant may argue that the police apprehended the wrong suspect in the domestic violence situation. In these cases, the defendant alleges that another person was the source of domestic violence and they are being wrongfully accused. A domestic violence defense attorney can support this defense through witness testimony or surveillance footage such as from a store parking lot or your worksite.
False allegations based on an ulterior motive
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for couples in a custody battle or filing for divorce to use a false domestic violence claim in order to gain leverage in other proceedings. When ulterior motives may be at play, a domestic violence defense attorney will compare police reports with statements and photographs to search for inconsistencies in the claimant’s story.
Sometimes the defendant admits that there was physical violence, but that they acted out of self-defense or defense of someone else, especially their children. Reasonable fear of harm and an equal amount of force used to deflect that harm is evidence that an attorney will use to support self-defense or defense of other's claims.
Lack of proof
A lack of proof defense arises when there is little to no physical evidence or witness testimony to corroborate a claim. A domestic violence defense attorney can use a lack of proof to help an innocent defendant avoid charges.
Although it is rare, a domestic violence defense lawyer may be able to prove that a defendant had the consent of the alleged victim to make the physical contact that is at issue, such as if the parties were wrestling or playing around. A defendant cannot be charged with domestic violence if they had the consent of the alleged victim.
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, a domestic violence defense lawyer can help you avoid charges on your record, a restraining order or jail time. A domestic violence lawyer can also help you bring charges against the other party if they were the aggressor in the situation, and even help you to procure a restraining order against the other party if you feel that it is necessary for your own safety, the safety of your children or the safety of another family member.