Domestic violence is a serious crime and abusers should face consequences. However, our Orange County domestic violence lawyers have come across several cases where individuals, often men, are wrongly accused of domestic violence. Typically, there is a motivation behind these false accusations such as finding an easy way to get out of the relationship, win child custody disputes, gain possession of their partner’s property or get revenge on a spouse.
Impact of Accusations
The legal system often works in favor of women and trusts they are telling the truth. In fact, law enforcement officers and district attorneys tend to take the word of those who claim to be abused. Our domestic violence laws are usually biased against domestic partners who are male.
Under California law, if your spouse or partner makes an allegation against you, you could be charged with misdemeanor domestic violence even when your spouse is not physically injured or doesn’t show any signs of such abuse. Those who are accused, however, face consequences that are very real including job loss, creation of a criminal record that could affect their future job prospects, loss of visitation rights with children, jail time, and tarnishing of their reputation.
What Actions Can You Take
If your spouse or partner has wrongfully accused you, there are a number of steps you can take in order to protect your rights and increase the likelihood of successfully defending the charges against you:
- If your partner has falsely accused you, confide in family members and friends you can trust. It might be a good idea to do this even before your partner accuses you or even as she threatens to get you in trouble. That way, those around you are more likely to trust you.
- Contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney who can help prove that the accusations are false and that they were made with specific motivations or out of spite.
- Make sure you honor any temporary restraining order against you. If the order has been issued, do not breach its terms and conditions. That could get you into further trouble. Do not be lured into talking to your accuser or meeting her. Keep a record of any requests she makes to meet you be it a phone call, email, or text message.
- Keep your story consistent and do not provide any contradicting statements or accounts. Follow your attorney's advice at every turn.
The Importance of an Experienced Lawyer
When it becomes evident that the charges were false, your charges will be dropped. But it is unlikely that your accuser will be prosecuted for making those false allegations. This is the reality out there because law enforcement officials believe doing so will discourage abused women from filing genuine domestic violence cases. Remember, even if you have been charged, the prosecutor has the burden of proof and must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. In a majority of situations, this type of case can be resolved without going to trial if you get an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer on your side as soon as possible.