Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence
Charges for domestic violence are handled more aggressively and often have more severe penalties than the same acts perpetrated against people you don’t have some sort of intimate or household relationship with. Those close relationships are precisely what make acts of violence more egregious in the eyes of the law.
The “he said, she said” nature of domestic violence makes allegations easy and gives law enforcement and the courts the right to act to protect the accuser before the accused can have their day in court. The charges alone, even without a conviction, can damage your life forever.
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you need to put a tenacious criminal defense attorney in your corner. Attorney Josh S. Brownstein represents clients in San Rafael, Petaluma, San Francisco, Novato, and Marin County, California. Contact Brownstein Law Group, P.C. for aggressive representation that will truly make a difference in your case.
What Are the Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge?
You can find yourself immediately arrested, jailed, and have an order of protection issued against you upon just being accused of domestic violence. The law will err on the side of potentially protecting a victim of violence. Those accused pay the price, even if falsely accused.
If an order of protection is issued, you will be unable to have any contact with the victim. That may require you to move out of your home, be prohibited from going to a shared workplace or school, and be barred from spending time with your child.
There are two key charges you may face. One is domestic battery. The other is corporal injury to a spouse or someone in your household. If convicted, you may serve a mandatory jail sentence and be required to complete a violence intervention program. You may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim and could lose child custody rights and your right to own and possess a gun. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you could be deported.
Why Do False Accusations Happen?
False accusations may arise from misperceptions of others. For example, a neighbor could call law enforcement because they hear a heated argument between family members, spouses, or intimate partners. They could hear glass breaking or things falling and assume someone is hurting someone else.
Law enforcement, arriving on the scene and unable to determine quickly what has occurred and who has harmed who, may arrest both parties, hoping to sort it out later. The innocent party will be arrested and treated the same way as the guilty.
Some people may use false allegations of domestic violence to leverage their standing in child custody issues or to evict someone from their home. Or, they could be motivated by revenge, using allegations to get back at you for anything they perceive as a disadvantage or harm caused to them in your relationship. If the accuser suffers from mental health issues, they may actually believe what they allege or can justify their accusations in their own mind.
What Should I Do if I’m Falsely Accused?
Don’t talk to anyone, including law enforcement, without having an attorney present. Things you tell others may be used against you later. Your attorney will talk to you about the circumstances, identify witnesses, obtain statements, and gather evidence contradictory to the false allegations.
Make sure you have no contact whatsoever with the accuser. Do not talk or correspond with them in any way and avoid any physical proximity to them. You do not want to give them another opportunity to accuse you of domestic violence.
Avoid talking to others about what happened, in person or on social media. It is tempting to want to “set the record straight,” but unwise. Other than your criminal defense lawyer, no one else has privilege that will protect them from testifying to anything you said. Social media is neither temporary nor protected in any way.
How Can I Defend Myself?
Your attorney will explore possible defenses based on the circumstances of the allegations. You may be able to provide evidence that the accuser was motivated by revenge and cannot substantiate their claims of violence. Witnesses may testify to a different set of facts than those being alleged by the accuser.
Perhaps you were acting in defense of yourself or someone else when the accuser was injured. For example, you held back your father from striking a sibling or held back your child’s other parent from abusing the child. Perhaps the accuser was attempting to strike you when you overpowered them and pushed them away.
Another defense could be a lack of intent to harm. For example, you and your spouse argue, and you get into your vehicle in the garage to leave. You raise the door and begin backing out, not realizing your spouse has come out of the house and is standing right behind the vehicle when you knock them down. Or, maybe you slam a door causing a large piece of artwork to fall off the wall and it strikes the other person in the head.
Let Brownstein Law Group, P.C. Help
Things are not always as they appear. Attorney Josh S. Brownstein knows that, and he will use his investigative and evidentiary skills as a criminal defense attorney to accurately portray what happened in a court of law.
Don’t let a domestic violence charge or conviction destroy your life. If you have been falsely accused in San Rafael, California, or in neighboring areas, call Brownstein Law Group, P.C. right away.