Were you accused of domestic violence? In the heat of the moment, people say and do a lot of things. Your significant other can misconstrue your actions. Domestic violence, however, is a serious claim, so do not take it lightly, because it can leave a lasting impact on your life. If you are accused of domestic violence, immediately talk to a lawyer who specializes in domestic violence.
Were You Falsely Accused?
False accusations are easy to assert in domestic violence cases—nor are they all that uncommon. Sometimes a heated argument leaves one person angry enough to accuse the other party of violence. The accuser calls the police, which starts a chain of events. Other times, some sort of physical contact may have taken place, but the alleged victim actually perpetrated the event. Significant others may allege domestic violence when they seek revenge for a divorce, infidelity, or for ending a relationship. These accusations can lead to court appearances and potential charges. No matter the cause or the circumstances, if anyone accuses you of domestic violence, take immediate action and call an experienced domestic violence lawyer.
What Is Domestic Violence?
The U.S. Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior”—physical, emotional, sexual, economic, or psychological—”in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” Common examples include:
- Inflicting intentional harm, pain, or injury
- Bad mouthing to lower self-esteem
- Forcing another person into unwanted sexual contact or behavior
- Stalking a person—whether in person, via phone, or online
- Using intimidation to cause fear
- Withholding access to money or basic needs
Do I Have a Defense?
Domestic violence accusations often devolve into “he said/she said” matters. This is part of the reason for false accusations. Although the law presumes you innocent until proven guilty, domestic violence cases require fact-heavy defenses—and the court needs to distinguish fact from fiction. Your accuser may use everything against you, even unintentional acts or misconstrued words . An experienced domestic violence attorney can help you assert your defense strategy and navigate the court system.
Domestic Violence Accusations Can Cause Long-Term Damage
Accusations, even if unfounded or later proven untrue, can damage your day-to-day life for years. If the court finds you guilty, the consequences grow graver:
- Criminal liability: A conviction can result in jail time, fines, orders for protection, and probation.
- Family impact: Accusations and convictions can damage your family. This includes the loss of parenting time and even custody of your children. You may need to leave a shared residence.
- Social perception: Accusations can hurt your personal and professional relationships.
- Immigration: If you lack citizenship status, the government can deport you or deny your citizen application.
- Firearms: You may lose the right to possess or purchase guns.
Contact an experienced domestic violence attorney
At The Law Offices of Lori S. Murray, we understand the impact a domestic violence charge can leave on your life. Call us today at (803) 779-4472 or write to us online to schedule your free consultation.