It goes without saying that any kind of domestic abuse is a big deal—and it can have life-altering effects on the abused. At the same time, however, being falsely charged with this heinous crime can have life-long consequences. That’s why those who are met with domestic abuse allegations have a legal right to mount a robust defense—something our attorneys can assist with.
False Allegations Can Be Difficult to Disprove
First, some hard truth: False allegations of domestic abuse happen, and in some cases they can be quite difficult to prove. That’s because the court system rightly takes domestic abuse seriously, but the side effect of this is that most allegations are implicitly believed. If nothing else, it is extremely likely that a restraining order will be put into effect while evidence is gathered.
Something else to understand is that the standards for domestic abuse are extremely subjective; not only are physical and sexual assault included, but even the fear of abuse can qualify. What this means is that something like a raised voice or a few ill-chosen words may be all the proof the courts need that domestic abuse has taken place.
Protect Yourself Against Abuse Allegations
There are, however, some simple steps you can take to prevent allegations against yourself, and to protect yourself once those allegations are made.
- Avoid conflict. Remember that even something simple, like blocking your spouse’s exit from the room so that you can “talk things out” in a heated moment, can be construed as abusive behavior.
- Involve witnesses. If you foresee some sort of conflict arising—for example, if you plan to serve your spouse with divorce papers—it may be wise to have eyewitnesses in the room.
- File a restraining order. Yes, if there is an event that causes extreme conflict with your partner, you may wish to file a restraining order of your own.
- Provide an alibi. One of the best ways you can combat domestic abuse charges is to have a strong alibi for the incident in question. Even phone records, showing you were making a call at the time, can be sufficient.
- Expose inconsistencies. Work with your lawyer to identify any inconsistencies in the statements made against you; the more inconsistencies you bring up, the weaker the case against you will look.
- Point out behavioral inconsistencies. You can also defend yourself by pointing out odd behavior on the part of the person making the allegations. For example, did he or she immediately seek legal protection—or was there an elapsed time period between the alleged incident and the pursuit of police protection?
- Find motivation for fraudulent claims. If you can find clear written records (email, texts, etc.) showing a motive to fabricate allegations against you, such as the desire to win a custody battle, that can definitely be helpful for your case.
- Rebut general allegations. Sometimes allegations are incredibly vague, with no specific incidents mentioned. These generalized allegations should always be challenged.
As you can tell, there are a few different strategies you can take for defending yourself against domestic abuse claims. To help identify your strongest case, reach out to a domestic abuse attorney. At Davis-Jones Law, we are prepared to help you mount a strong defense, and to ensure that your rights are upheld. Reach out to our Austin law firm any time you need to schedule a consultation.