Posted on February 07, 2018 in Criminal Law
What Should I Do If I Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Abuse?
Accusations of domestic violence must always be taken seriously. A wrongful charge for domestic violence will impact virtually every aspect of a person’s life. A conviction for domestic violence can come with harsh penalties. Though, even if the charges are dismissed, the stain left behind on a person’s reputation could be difficult to remove.
For a person facing a false domestic violence charge, immediate action needs to be taken. It is imperative that the defendant takes proactive steps to protect their legal rights, their reputation, and their freedom. Specifically, you should consider the following four things if you believe you are being falsely accused of domestic violence.
1. Preserve Relevant Evidence
In the United States, defendants are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The prosecution has an obligation to produce sufficient evidence to prove guilt. However, that does not mean that the defendant can ignore the evidence. Quite the contrary: defendants need to be proactive, and they must preserve any and all evidence that helps to establish their innocence. In the case of alleged domestic violence, relevant evidence of innocence can come in a variety of different forms. There may have been an eyewitness, or you may have electronic communications in the form of text messages or emails that provide clarity. Regardless, all of this evidence should be secured and assembled.
2. Stay Off of Social Media
If you are facing false allegations of domestic violence, it can be tempting to use social media as a way to try to clear your good name. In the vast majority of cases, this will either backfire or, at best, provide zero benefit to you. You should avoid posting about your situation on social media. More importantly, you should never bring up the name or other information about the accuser and you should never send them direct messages. Any action that can be perceived as threatening can be used against you in court.
3. Never Confront the Accuser
Likewise, you should never confront the accuser about their allegations. Domestic abuse charges are a serious issue, and this conflict should be handled through professionals. If you show up at the accuser’s workplace or at their friend’s or relative’s house, or keep calling them on the phone, it will reflect poorly on you. This is true no matter how calm you remain and how good your intentions are. Work through your lawyer.
4. Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged, you need to consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. If you are currently facing criminal charges, or you believe that charges may be filed in the near future, you must take action to protect your rights. Your defense lawyer will be able to review the specific facts of your case and will be able to conduct an in-depth investigation into the issue to determine what needs to be done to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected.