As much as we want to trust in our legal system in the U.S., many people are falsely accused and charged with crimes they didn't commit every day. People are falsely accused of many different crimes, but false allegations of domestic violence crimes are particularly frequent. Fortunately, you may be able to fight false allegations of domestic violence crimes. Doing so, however, takes an understanding of how domestic violence cases are handled and how to defend yourself in a criminal court.
Domestic violence cases are common in California. California's criminal justice system has dedicated prosecution units for domestic violence crimes to ensure defendants are convicted and do not slip through the cracks. This type of crime is somewhat unique in that charges are sometimes based off of very little hard evidence. In a domestic situation, there may be few if any witnesses, and the victim's word is sometimes all that is needed for charges to be filed. A victim need not have any physical injuries for a domestic violence charge to be filed, so false allegations can be fairly easy to make. People may make false accusations if they are hurt, angry, or want revenge. Coupled with the fact that no physical injuries need to be present for charges to be pressed, it is easy to see how false allegations of domestic violence are in fact fairly common.
Domestic violence in California is legally defined as violence, or the threat of violence, directed at someone to whom you are related to or in a close relationship with. This can include people who you were previously in a close relationship with or the parent of your child. The violence can, but doesn't have to, result in a traumatic condition (i.e. a physical injury). If someone to whom you are or have been in a close relationship with falsely accuses you of domestic violence, don't think that because there is no evidence you will not be charged. The district attorney can file charges if he or she has enough cause to believe you committed the crime. The victim's account, supportive statements from witnesses, whether or not you have any restraining orders against you, and your own criminal history can all affect the district attorney's decision.
What makes false allegations of domestic violence particularly troublesome is that law enforcement will typically err on the side of caution when assessing a situation. It is a widely held belief in the criminal justice system that victim's routinely make complaints to law enforcement then try to have the charges dropped once they realize the consequences of their actions. They may have just wanted to get back at the defendant or make a point, only to realize that they may have just sent that person to jail unwittingly. Unfortunately, once charges have been filed, it is very difficult to have them dropped, even if the victim claims the allegation was false or exaggerated. This is why it is crucial to speak to an experienced attorney whenever you are facing such allegations. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the district attorney to arrive at a favorable conclusion, perhaps even before charges are officially filed. An attorney may also be able to build a strong defense for you in court that could result in your case being dropped. Appearing in court and saying you are innocent isn't enough. The evidence against you will need to be challenged and your character may need to be vouched for. An attorney can assist you with doing this successfully.
Fighting false allegations can be difficult, even if there is no hard evidence and no physical injuries on the victim. While you may find the information in this post helpful, it is always best to speak with a California criminal defense attorney about your specific case when facing such charges. Obtaining skilled representation may be necessary for your defense to be successful even if you are innocent. A skilled attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and help you strategize a defense. Weak evidence may be able to be challenged, and this could result in your case being dropped.
If you or a loved one has been falsely accused of a domestic violence offense in the Tulare, Fresno or Kings County area, call experienced domestic violence defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can defend your dignity in court and fight false allegations. Attorney Martens has over ten years of criminal defense experience and will fight hard for your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.