How to Defend Against False Allegations of Domestic Violence in California
One lie can tarnish your reputation and eliminate opportunities for good. California law enforcement doesn’t waste time if someone claims they’re in danger of abuse. They will file an emergency protective order, and your accuser will fight to have you convicted on false pretenses.
Seth Morris knows the severity of your situation, and he’s here to secure your future. As one of Oakland’s most elite domestic violence lawyers, he’ll give you the best chance to dismiss your charges. Contact Morris Law at 510-225-9955 today before it’s too late. Free Consults.
Reasons False Domestic Violence Claims Arise in Oakland
False accusations of domestic violence are most common between intimate partners. A once-thriving relationship may have soured—and the accusing partner wants to get even and assassinate your character through devastating domestic violence claims.
A toxic partner might claim spousal abuse to get a leg up in divorce court and take your property. Or you might be in the midst of a battle to see your children. In that case, your spouse might accuse you of abuse to gain full custody. Either way, you need get ahead of the issue before it impacts your life for good.
What’s At Risk if You Are Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?
If convicted for a domestic violence crime, you could lose:
- Your job
- Custody rights
- Your reputation
- A favorable outcome in a divorce
Not only that, but you will have a permanent criminal record and face between one to three years in jail and fines between $2,000 and $10,000. Your accuser might also file a permanent restraining order against you and any children involved.
What to Do if You’ve Been Falsely Accused
Read the following carefully to avoid making matters worse after you’ve been accused of domestic violence:
- Stay Away from Your Accuser – No matter how much history you have with the alleged victim, keep your distance to avoid damaging your case. Approaching your accuser to “clear the air” is not recommended and could make you look even more guilty.
- Obey Any Active Protective Orders – Depending on the situation, your accuser might have filed a restraining order against you. The order will have specific provisions you must obey to avoid a violation and further criminal charges.
- Don’t Speak to Your Accuser – In addition to physically staying away from the alleged victim, refrain from texting, calling, emailing, or otherwise contacting them. Anything you do could be used as evidence in court to paint you as the villain.
- Turn Evidence Over to Your Attorney – Keep any evidence that could be used to prove you weren’t where your accuser claims you were at the time of the alleged incident.
- Call an Attorney – These cases are delicate, and you shouldn’t further risk your reputation by going to court alone. Your attorney knows precisely what to do to clear your name.
How to Defend Against False Accusations of Domestic Violence
Although you may feel that your situation is bleak, you have options to defend yourself from false accusations. Remember, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the offense. We have methods to create doubt and get you back to your life.
We’ll use the following tactics to prove the allegations against you are false:
- Witness Testimony – You might have several witnesses that can testify regarding your location at the time of the incident.
- Highlighting Inconsistencies in the Police Report – Your attorney might prove that your accuser made false statements in their report to law enforcement. After further questioning the details of the alleged incident, your accuser’s story may begin to unravel.
- Challenging the Prosecutions Claims – If your accuser claims you assaulted them, they must prove it through photos or videos of injuries or by using other means to obtain a conviction. Flaky evidence from the prosecution won’t hold up in court, and your charges could be dismissed.
- Photos & Video – Having photos or videos of you somewhere else at the time of the alleged incident can prove you weren’t and couldn’t have committed the crime. Even receipts could be valuable evidence proving your whereabouts.
- Texts & Emails – Your attorney could present texts or email communications that raise doubt in your case and further support the fact that the alleged incident never occurred. Your accuser might have sent nasty texts or emails revealing their motive to accuse you falsely.
What Are the Consequences for Making False Claims of Abuse?
Someone who makes false accusations of domestic abuse could face the consequences of their actions. For example, California Penal Code § 148.5 makes it a crime when someone reports a misdemeanor or felony, knowing the report to be false. This crime is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.