Where's the Evidence?
We like to think that hard evidence is necessary in order to file charges against or convict someone in a criminal court. But this belief in justice can leave you unprepared for the reality of domestic violence cases. Typically, sufficient evidence is required to take legal action against someone, be it filing a restraining order or filing criminal charges. In many cases, this is true. But we have to ask ourselves: just what constitutes sufficient evidence in a domestic violence case and can charges be filed without that evidence?
Why Domestic Violence Is Different
Unfortunately, due to the high fatality rates of instances of domestic violence in California, law enforcement and the criminal court system take very few chances when it comes to domestic violence allegations. If a victim makes a report of domestic violence, law enforcement can and will step in and take action to protect the victim and hold the alleged abuser accountable. Even more unfortunate is the fact that false allegations of domestic violence are sometimes made for all the wrong reasons. Spite, malice, and revenge are just some of the reasons why a person might make a false allegation of domestic violence. False allegations are also common in family law matters involving divorce, separation, or child custody. Despite the commonality of false allegations of domestic violence, these cases aren't pursued any less than other cases. As a result, countless defendants are convicted of domestic violence for offenses they did not commit.
So, what can you do when facing a false allegation of domestic violence? Should you fight back? Tell your side of the story? What are you up against? And how can you prove your innocence? Combating false allegations of domestic violence is indeed tricky and requires skilled legal guidance. But the good news is you can fight false allegations, and many have been successful in getting their charges dismissed. But before you make any moves in your case, here are a few things you should know when facing false allegations of domestic violence.
You are not alone. False allegations of domestic violence are not uncommon. When it comes to relationships, people do and say things all the time that they deeply regret. In certain cases, when one person notifies the authorities, this can set in motion a complicated legal process that no one benefits from.
You may want to tell your side of the story and point out all the lies the alleged victim has told. Saying too much could be a mistake. In general, it's best to wait to tell your side of the story until you've spoken with an attorney. An attorney can help you do so without jeopardizing your case or risking self-incrimination. Your story is important, but be thoughtful and strategic in everything you say.
Obey any restraining order that may have been issued. It doesn't matter whether you're innocent or not, follow the restraining order diligently. Violating a restraining order, regardless of your innocence, can significantly hurt your case.
You can be convicted from the alleged victim's testimony alone. The prosecuting attorney doesn't need emergency records, pictures of injuries, or testimony from third party witnesses to convict you.
You may need to take your case to trial. Claiming innocence won't be enough to absolve you of your charges. And a plea bargain you could be offered might not be in your best interests. If you are innocent and don't want to plead guilty to any offense, you should expect a trial.
And, lastly, you absolutely need an attorney who knows how to represent people who've been falsely accused of domestic violence. Experience matters in these types of cases.
Always consult with an experienced California domestic violence defense attorney when facing domestic violence charges. Even if you are innocent, you will need a skilled attorney by your side. Facing these charges is never easy, and when it is the alleged victim's word against yours, it's easy to feel as if the whole system is against you. In many ways, it is. But that doesn't have to stop you from fighting your charges and defending your rights. An attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances in your case, examine any evidence, and help you do what it takes to prove your innocence and clear your name.
If you are facing false allegations of domestic violence, contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for help in Tulare, Fresno or Kings County. Experienced in criminal defense, our Visalia area legal team can advise you of your rights and can aggressively advocate on your behalf in court. Attorney Martens has over ten years experience in criminal defense and won't be afraid to take your case all the way to trial. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.