Domestic violence in Florida is a serious crime that comes with severe penalties, and deservingly so. However, just because someone accuses you of committing domestic violence does not mean that the allegations are true. So what should you do if you are being falsely accused of domestic violence?
As experienced South Florida domestic violence attorneys, we’ve seen many cases of spouses bringing false allegations of physical or emotional abuse. Domestic partners will use false claims of physical or emotional abuse for any number of reasons, including:
- To win a custody battle
- To get a spouse or step-parent out of their lives
- To get even with a spouse who wants a divorce
- To gain possession of their partner’s property
Consequences of being falsely accused of domestic violence in Florida
Even one instance of domestic violence is inexcusable. Women have been fighting against credible acts of domestic violence for years, and the failure to take complaints of domestic violence seriously can result in terrible tragedies, so police officers and district attorneys will often take the word of the abused partner as truth and judges will hand out harsh punishments. Furthermore, most laws will be biased against the dominant partner in the relationship, which is usually the man.
What this means is you are probably going to be fighting an uphill battle to clear your name of a fake domestic violence accusation. As soon as word gets out that you are accused of committing domestic violence, it may feel like it’s impossible to get others to believe in your innocence. The consequences of being falsely accused of domestic violence are far-ranging and might include:
- Getting fired from your job.
- Having a criminal record will make it harder to get a job in the future.
- Losing your right to vote or have a gun.
- Losing visitation rights to your children or possession of your property.
- Tarnishing your public reputation, both online and in-person, forever.
What to do after being falsely accused of domestic violence in Palm Beach or Broward County
There are certain steps you should take if you are falsely accused of a crime, especially a violent one such as domestic violence or domestic battery.
- Take the matter seriously. Understand the severity of the accusations and what could be at stake if a judge rules that they are true.
- Contact a Palm Beach domestic violence attorney right away. When your criminal record is on the line – as well as everything that comes with it, including your career, relationships, freedom, and more – you need a strong defense attorney in your corner. Try to find one who has trial experience and is knowledgeable about domestic violence procedures, cases, and courts in the local area.
- Do not contact your accuser. Period. You may think you can talk your way out of it or convince the other party to walk back their statements, but speaking to the person who is bringing a phony domestic violence charge against you is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Anything you say can be turned against you in court – do not take this risk.
- Gather evidence and documents. Turning the case around in your favor is one way to prove innocence when falsely accused of domestic violence. Witness statements, photographs, text messages – anything that supports your version of events will help build a strong defense. Is there a 911 tape recording? Are there doctors or nurses who will testify? Was the incident exaggerated? Was the accused taking any medication that could have caused an adverse reaction? These are the types of questions a good defense attorney will be asking you.
- Avoid a plea deal. Some accusers will seek a quick resolution to get what they want. The only way they can do this is if they convince you to enter a plea deal for a reduced sentence. No matter how good the deal sounds, you should consult with your lawyer first – your case may be winnable, clearing your name and opening up the possibility of bringing a civil lawsuit for slander or libel to gain compensation for monetary losses caused by the false allegation.
Legal representation for false accusations of domestic violence
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, do not make the mistake of trying to represent yourself. You might be thinking that a lawyer isn’t worth it but everything can change as soon as you step foot in a courtroom. Too many people take a risk, go it alone, and end up losing out on their future – contact the defense attorneys at Bottari & Doyle today to receive a free consultation for your domestic violence case.