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false accusations of domestic violence

Dealing with a False Accusation of Domestic Violence

False Accusations of Domestic Violence: A Serious Problem

Prosecutors love talking about domestic violence. Tarrant County put up billboards and signs that say “not in my community.” No one will fault a person for being a domestic violence advocate, and rightly so. Yet, an overlooked fact is that false allegations of domestic violence happen every day for a myriad of reasons.

It wasn’t that long ago that Amber Heard agreed to pay Johnny Depp a million dollars for making a false accusation of domestic violence against him.

People lie for money, attention, and even the ability to stay in the United States through special visas granted to victims of abuse. The Center for Prosecutor Integrity reports that 8% of over 2,400 Americans say they have been falsely accused of abuse.

What to Do When Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence

In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as false allegations. The system would have to deal with cases of mistaken identity every so often, but there would never be an instance where an alleged victim outright lied in order to harm someone. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. And if you’re one of the thousands of innocent people who face these untrue allegations yearly in America, it’s important that you know how to respond.

Remain Calm

Most people have no idea what to do when falsely accused of domestic violence. However, your first step should be to remain calm. Getting angry or responding aggressively will likely only make your situation worse.

Understand Your Rights

Understanding your legal rights and obligations is critical for fighting false accusations of domestic abuse. Most importantly, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. These are the most critical freedoms you have when accused of a crime — and your attorney can explain any other rights and responsibilities you may have.

Document and Preserve Everything

Whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges, the consequences of a wrongful domestic violence conviction can be devastating. To avoid such an outcome, it’s important to document and preserve any evidence that supports your innocence. Save call logs, text messages, social media screenshots, any communications with the alleged victim, and anything else that may prove useful in your case.

Gather Witness Information

There are two types of witnesses that can prove invaluable when a person is falsely accused of domestic violence in Fort Worth. First, anyone who can attest to what really happened is critical for establishing that abuse never occurred. Additionally, character witnesses can testify to the type of person you are and help the court understand that the allegations against you are false.

Stay Patient

The wheels of justice turn slowly. This is true for legitimate victims and the wrongfully accused alike. Domestic violence is a serious problem in our country, and actual victims lose their lives every day. The system must be thorough when handling these cases to avoid tragic outcomes. Trust the legal system to uncover the truth.

Seek Legal Counsel

Perhaps the most important thing you can do when facing false allegations of any crime is to seek legal counsel. While America’s criminal justice system is meant to avoid wrongful convictions, such outcomes happen every day. Our skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you avoid becoming a statistic.

Why Are False Domestic Violence Claims So Persistent?

Unfortunately, there are countless reasons someone may face a false accusation of domestic violence. In all cases, the potential outcomes are the same. Those wrongfully charged can be convicted and face expensive fines and incarceration. Such outcomes can be even worse when false sexual assault accusations accompany falsified allegations of intimate partner violence.

Sadly, it’s the underlying causes of these wrongful charges that make them so persistent. In many cases, there doesn’t even need to be a real motivation to see the accused individual behind bars. Just consider the most common causes of false domestic violence allegations in Fort Worth:

  • To retaliate or take revenge for a perceived wrong (e.g., jealousy, break ups)
  • To gain the upper hand in a custody dispute
  • As a form of manipulation or control
  • Issues linked to mental health and an inability to differentiate between thoughts and reality
  • A method for garnering attention or sympathy from others
  • To avoid certain consequences (e.g., deportation, social stigma)
  • Miscommunication or misinterpretation
  • Due to pressure from external influences (e.g., friends or family members)
  • Stemming from erratic behavior caused by substance abuse

Sadly, it’s clear that false allegations typically persist because they provide some form of power. Perhaps the alleged victim wants a better chance of securing child custody, or maybe they want to punish a former lover for moving on. While there are some underlying causes that don’t relate to control (e.g., mental health issues), the majority of cases involve one person trying to manipulate another individual’s life.

Sadly, this itself is a form of intimate partner abuse. However, someone who is wrongfully accused of domestic violence in Fort Worth is likely more worried about being exonerated than feeling victimized. At Varghese Summersett, our criminal defense attorneys are here to help. Contact us at (817) 203-2220 today for a free consultation.

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