Being charged with domestic violence can impact every area of a person's life – their job, their relationship with their family, and even the time they get to spend with their children. For many families, domestic violence is a very real concern, as well as a public health issue in our communities. It should always be thoroughly investigated, and appropriate actions must be taken to ensure everyone's safety and well-being while also protecting the rights of everyone involved, including the accused.
When an accusation of domestic abuse is false – meaning that the alleged violence never took place – protecting the rights of the accused is especially important. What legal recourse does a falsely accused person have in this situation? Being unfairly accused of any crime isn't fun and it isn't fair, but there are things you can do about it.
When Someone Lies About Domestic Violence
Because domestic violence charges can have such a severe impact on the accused's life, it may seem unreasonable for the legal system to take action before they've heard both sides of the story. This is exactly what happens, however, with protection from abuse (PFA) orders, which are intended to protect domestic violence victims in emergency situations where their physical safety is at risk. If you have a PFA order against you, you may be forced to leave your home and stay away from your loved ones, among other consequences – all before you're given an opportunity to tell your side of the story.
PFAs are important because they offer immediate protection for victims, but they can also be misused. For instance, both PFAs and domestic violence accusations can be improperly used as leverage, particularly in custody battles. This is because courts are usually hesitant to place kids with a parent who has been called an abuser – even if that label is later shown to be totally unfounded. Domestic violence charges can also be used as leverage in divorce proceedings, or they may simply be used as a form of revenge by an angry ex.
What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence
If you've been falsely accused of domestic violence, it may feel like the deck is stacked against you – but the law does provide means of defending yourself. If the person accusing you produces a written or verbal statement of the accusation under oath, for instance, they'll face a perjury charge when the ruse is uncovered. Police offers also face penalties if they knowingly file a false report on the alleged incident.
You may also be able to file a civil suit against your accuser. Your suit can claim financial and other damages you incurred as a result of the false accusation, and a court may order that your accuser make restitution. Proving your innocence can be difficult on your own, which is why you need a skilled legal team on your side.
If you're facing domestic violence allegations, the first thing you should do is seek the counsel of an experienced attorney-advisor who knows how to fight for you and protect your rights. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have successfully defended numerous clients across the country against allegations of domestic violence, allowing them to avoid unfair consequences and move on with their lives. Call 888.535.3686 or contact us online today to start preparing your defense.