How Can I Prove Domestic Violence Accusations are False?
Domestic violence is, unfortunately, a common theme in divorces. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 7 men and 1 in 4 women have been the victim of domestic abuse. While being sensitive to victims of violence is of the utmost importance, not all accusations of domestic abuse are truthful. In some cases, one spouse will attempt to gain control over the other by alleging abuse. The state acts quickly to remove perpetrators of violence from the home in an effort to protect victims, making it easier for a disingenuous spouse who wants to keep the marital home or gain sole custody of their children to do so without much of a fight.
Here’s what you need to know about how to prove your case of false allegations.
What Happens When You’re Accused of Domestic Abuse?
If you’re accused of domestic violence, you will likely be issued a protective order that requires you to stay a certain distance away from the alleged victim(s). This means you could be forced from your home and access to your children will be removed. Your reputation may suffer within your family, circle of friends, and even at work. If convicted, you could be required to serve jail time, pay hefty fines, and attend mandatory counseling. You’ll likely have to carry the charge on your criminal record for the rest of your life.
What If the Domestic Violence Allegations Are False?
If the accusations against you are false, it’s important that you take action right away to:
Identify Potential Evidence
If no abuse occurred, or the abuse actually happened to you and not vice versa, gather as much evidence as possible. Time-stamped photos or social media posts around the time of the alleged abuse can indicate a lack of evidence that physical violence occurred. Or, they may show your ex in a jovial, happy mood that would contradict just having been a victim of violence.
Identify Potential Witnesses
Were there any witnesses who may have heard or seen the alleged abuse? Can they testify that you were not the perpetrator of the abuse, or that the abuse did not occur when or how your ex-spouse is suggesting? Get into contact with anyone who may be able to provide witness testimony in your favor. For example, a close friend may be able to testify that they never witnessed fighting or violence occurring in your relationship or a neighbor may be able to testify that they saw your ex after the alleged incident and saw no signs of violence or abuse.
Identify Potential Alibis
If your ex-spouse is accusing you of committing domestic abuse on a day or time when you were somewhere else, this can be an excellent way to prove your innocence. If you were at a store or restaurant and have a time-stamped receipt for when your ex says you abused them, you can submit this as evidence that you couldn’t have been the perpetrator. A person can also be your alibi; if you were with someone else and not your ex, they can testify that you were together and that it would have been impossible for you to have committed the abuse.
Identify Potential Motivations
Unfortunately, tangible evidence of domestic violence rarely exists because it’s a crime that almost always occurs between two people behind closed doors. Because of this, motive matters. If your ex has falsely accused you of domestic abuse, you may be able to prove that they had the motivation to do so and would benefit from it. For example, your ex-spouse may have threatened to have custody of your children taken away if you moved forward with a divorce. If you’re suddenly saddled with a surprise domestic violence charge, you may be able to show the court that your ex-spouse had intentionally planned to use all resources at their disposal to achieve their goal.
When Should You Contact a Long Island Divorce Lawyer?
If you’ve been accused of committing domestic abuse, whether you’ve been formally charged or not, it’s critical that you discuss your legal options with an experienced New York family lawyer. Your future, the wellbeing of your family, and your reputation are on the line. If the allegations against you are false, you could be penalized harshly for a crime you’re innocent of.
At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we understand how difficult it can be to face false accusations of domestic violence and how seriously these allegations can affect your life if convicted. Don’t wait to get legal help — call us today for a free consultation at 631-923-1910.
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