False Allegations, Real Consequences: Life After Domestic Violence Charges

It’s a confusing and strange time. On March 19, Governor Newsom placed a ‘Safer at Home’ order for the entire state of California. With many states following suit, people across the country are now stuck at home with their spouses, family, and roommates for more time than they ever have before.

According to the New York Times, “Mounting data suggests that domestic abuse is acting like an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic.” But, if you’re wrongly accused of domestic violence, do you have options? Society is exceptionally harsh on domestic violence cases and can impose serious penalties for those who are convicted. What can you do?

Stay Silent

Typically when someone gets charged with domestic violence, there is either a 911 call or a visit to your property from the police to kickstart the investigation. If the police do arrive at your home, it’s important to consider exercising your right to remain silent. It is almost always better to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any statements to law enforcement. Any mistake or misstep you take when speaking with the police can and will be used against you.

The police can begin asking you questions about what did or did not happen, and they may use that information against you without reading you your Miranda rights. Remember, the police are not required to read Miranda rights to suspects that have not yet been arrested or detained. Whatever is said in these “consensual conversations” with police can still be used against you in court.

Document Injuries & Broken Objects

If you are being accused of domestic violence, it’s important to document your side of the story. Note and photograph any injuries you sustained, or objects broken around the house. Keep notes of any threats or false accusations that you feel may someday be the subject of a call to the police.

If you have a trusted friend or witness, you may want to consider confiding in them what’s occurring as well as how and when you’ve been wrongly accused. If they were present during a time you were supposedly violent, or have seen your significant other act violently against you, they can have your back during a trial if need be.

Most people are stressed, overwhelmed, and confused while stuck at home. Many people will be at their wit’s end. But wrongly accusing someone else of a crime, especially domestic violence, should not be tolerated.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer

If you are being wrongly accused of domestic violence, it’s important to act now. If you’re arrested on behalf of the charges, it can change your life forever.

Even if you’re not convicted, you can lose the trust of family, friends, and coworkers. They may always have the thought in the back of their mind that just maybe you were capable of committing such a crime. Getting in front of the charges now can help ensure you keep your reputation.

Many people are wondering if now is the right time to contact a lawyer. Courts are closed across the country and aren’t processing new cases and paperwork again yet. However, earlier you start putting together your defense the better. You do not need to wait until former charges are filed against you to start fighting your case.

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we’re open and ready to take your call.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, whether you were wrongfully accused or not, it’s important to have an attorney by your side who is knowledgable and has years of experience. Contact our offices today to learn more or schedule your consultation with our team.