False Accusations in DC Domestic Violence Cases
Given the close relationships that people usually have in domestic violence cases, people can sometimes make false allegations to get another person in trouble out of anger, spite, or other malicious purposes.
There are many reasons a person may falsely accuse another of domestic violence. In situations of messy divorces, separations, and child custody disputes, false accusations sometimes arise to have the family law court view one party unfit to parent a child or otherwise viewed unfavorably. When someone has false accusations levied against them, it is vital that they seek the assistance of a DC domestic violence lawyer, who can help discredit those accusations and show their falsity.
Avoiding False Allegations
If an individual is concerned another person will make false accusations of abuse, they can do certain things to protect themselves from such allegations. For example, they can avoid that person altogether. If they suspect a person in their life is capable of making false allegations, it would be prudent to stay away from that person completely.
If it is a relationship in which avoiding the other person would be difficult however, such as having a child in common, it is important to avoid any interaction or communication that may create a conflict. If possible, it would be helpful to have potential witnesses around or by their side who would be able to refute any false claims.
Proving Your Innocence
If someone is charged with a domestic violence crime and the accusations are false, it is smart for them to collect any evidence for their lawyer that would support their innocence. Any documentation showing that they were not in the place that they were alleged to have been is critical, such as parking garage stubs, or any documentation showing they were at work or at an appointment.
If the individual was with anybody who could provide information or testimony that they were not in the location that they were alleged to have been, that will be helpful also.
Phone records will also help dispute any claim that someone was harassing their accuser by calls or text messages.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
It is important for an individual to prepare a strong defense if they are accused of a domestic violence crime. Even if they are only facing a civil case in which the petitioner is requesting a civil protection order, if the judge finds good cause to believe that they committed an offense, it is possible that their visitation with or custody of their kids and the locations that they are permitted to be could be effected for the duration of the civil protection order.
With a criminal case, someone is facing the potential maximum punishment for any given offense.
For example, if the individual is found guilty of stalking, they would face a maximum potential penalty of 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both. If they are found guilty of simple assault, they would face a maximum potential penalty of six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Evidence for the Defense
A DC lawyer will try to obtain various types of evidence to defend a person charged with a domestic violence related offense. Their lawyer will want to know the names of any people who would be able to refute any false accusations that were made, including information about where they were, who they were with, and what they were doing at the time of the incident.
A lawyer will also compare police reports with any affidavits or statements written by the complaining witness to see if there are any inconsistencies.
Inconsistencies are useful because they will help a lawyer argue that the complaining witness is not credible or not reliable.