To say that divorce is difficult is an understatement. What was once a happy and loving relationship is now wracked with pain. Emotions run high. Sometimes, those emotions can start running the show and people do some things that they otherwise would not do. This includes making false allegations of domestic violence.
What Are False Allegations of Domestic Violence?
Allegations of domestic violence are often made in order to coerce a partner into “playing ball” in a divorce case, or simply to get back at an ex. Often, there are no witnesses to the alleged acts, resulting in a battle of who is the most convincing witness. False allegations of domestic violence can include things like:
- raising your voice or yelling at your partner
- making threatening gestures during an argument
- throwing things or breaking household items during a verbal fight
- inadvertently blocking your partner from leaving the room during an argument
- restraining your partner in self-defense or to keep them from harming themselves
- using foul language during a fight
In most cases, nothing on this list actually constitutes domestic violence. Unfortunately, if the police are called because of claims of domestic violence, they must investigate. Even if the person who called the police later takes back their statements alleging domestic violence, in Phoenix, the government is the party that controls whether charges are filed.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
If you are charged with domestic violence, the consequences can be far-reaching. Your marital assets may be in jeopardy and your custody or visitation rights may be affected. In addition, you may end up with a criminal record that will impact your ability to obtain work and housing moving forward. This is why it is important to be proactive about potential situations that might lead to claims of domestic violence and to properly defend yourself in the event that you are charged with a domestic violence offense.
If you suspect that a partner or ex may be bringing domestic violence charges against you consider taking some of the following steps to protect yourself:
- try to diffuse the situation
- keep friends and family members informed of the situation
- protect your important documents, like identification, birth certificate and social security card
- gather evidence of abuse if you are the one being abused
- change authentication information on electronic accounts, including email, text, IM, phone and financial accounts
Common Defenses Against False Claims
If you have been accused of domestic violence and believe that these accusations are false, there are certain things you can do to defend yourself. The first step in defending against false allegations is finding the motivation behind the claims. Common motivations include:
- desire for attention
- leverage in a divorce or child custody situation
- mental health problems
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help identify these motivations and expose them in court. If it does come to that, the prosecution is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that if a juror believes that there is a possibility that you did not do the things you are accused of, you cannot be charged.
Another avenue for defending yourself is to prove that you did not commit the crime. we talked before about what does not make a domestic violence charge. So what exactly does constitute domestic violence? Some bases include:
- sexual misconduct
- criminal trespass
If you have been accused of domestic violence, the best thing you can do is talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our attorney are ready to fight for your rights, so call us today to schedule your free legal consult.