Can A False Accusation Of Domestic Violence Result In Charges?
There are many reasons that a disgruntled partner or ex-partner may make false claims of domestic violence. For instance, when a relationship ends, a former partner may make a false claim of abuse to punish their ex, influence child custody, or secure spousal support payments.
Regardless of how inaccurate and far-fetched an accusation may seem, these claims have the potential to cause substantial problems in your life and should be taken seriously.
Law enforcement and the Oklahoma legal system will often air on the side of caution with domestic violence cases and could charge an accused individual with a seemingly low standard of evidence. If you are charged, you will need to present a strong defense to the court to prove your innocence. The serious and emotive nature of domestic violence means that, often, you are facing an uphill battle to disprove false allegations. You can also face discrimination from the community and family and friends of your former partner, which usually makes the process even more challenging and distressing.
False allegations could result in you losing your job, your home, and your children, in addition to facing criminal charges and a potential criminal record. A reputable defense attorney is essential if you are to successfully disprove the claims against you and protect your life from the consequences of the accusations.
At Cannon & Associates, our client’s freedom and future are our utmost priorities. Our team of skilled defense attorneys is highly experienced with domestic violence and false allegation cases in Oklahoma. Our experience, knowledge, and expert training mean we are best placed to protect your freedom and reputation and fight the devastating false allegations you are up against.
Do not hesitate, and do not underestimate the impact of false allegations. Defend your future and schedule your free consultation with an experienced attorney today by calling 405-591-3935.
Penalties For Domestic Violence In Oklahoma
Criminal domestic violence offenses can refer to both physical abuse and emotional abuse and can also include threats to harm. As such, some allegations can be challenging to disprove.
A domestic violence charge in the State of Oklahoma is a serious offense, and a conviction can result in substantial jail time and hefty fines. Even a first-time misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction can carry up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. More severe offenses, such as domestic assault with a dangerous weapon or domestic abuse involving strangulation and punishments can range from one to three years in prison or up to 10 years of incarceration.
The Potential Impact Of False Allegations
Often, courts will issue a restraining order based on weak evidence to air on the side of caution and avoid any further instances of potential violence. This can be the case even in situations involving false allegations. A restraining order can act as a black mark against an individual and can cause damage to their reputation and affect custody of their children. This could also mean that the accused individual is required to vacate the family home to comply with the terms of the restraining order.
False allegations can also lead to criminal charges, influence your divorce proceedings, and even hinder you at work.
Although the criminal justice system is designed to protect the innocent and ensure that innocent individuals are not convicted, you should not dismiss the possibility of a criminal charge purely because you know you are innocent. Incidents of domestic violence can be hard to prove and often rely heavily on the alleged victim’s word against the defendant’s. The state may proceed with charges if there is evidence to support the allegations. At this point, you will need to fight your case in court.
In the civil court, the burden of proof is much lower than in criminal court. As such, a false allegation of domestic abuse can have an even more substantial impact on civil proceedings. This can be particularly relevant during both divorce and child custody proceedings.
One parent might falsely accuse the other parent of domestic violence to discredit them in front of the court and sway custody proceedings in favor of the alleged victim. False allegations of domestic violence can raise concerns for a child’s safety and may result in the accused parent losing custody of their child or children.
Restraining orders and protective orders are often used as supporting evidence in these cases to support false allegations and influence custody arrangements, regardless of whether the parent has been found guilty in criminal court.
Even without a conviction, an allegation of domestic violence can impact your career. Allegations of domestic violence can spread through word of mouth and damage an individual’s reputation. This can lead to discrimination and count against you in employment opportunities.
A restraining order or protective order could also be flagged in a background check from a potential future employer. Although these orders can be enforced based on relatively weak evidence and a precautionary approach and do not equate to a conviction, the impact can be the same. Similarly, domestic violence arrests and charges without conviction may still appear on a record check. As a result, false accusations of domestic violence can have a substantial impact on your career and employment opportunities.
How To Fight False Domestic Violence Accusations
The first step in fighting damaging false allegations of domestic abuse is to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can immediately start work on building your defense and countering the accusations. Often domestic violence cases move fast, so seek legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure you are prepared.
Your domestic violence defense attorney will immediately begin to develop a defense strategy, gather evidence and build a counterargument. Your attorney will also identify compelling character witnesses to testify on your behalf about your character and behavior to support the argument that the allegations are false. This can improve your credibility in court and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
Expert testimony can be critical when fighting false accusations. An expert can review and dispute the evidence against you if, in their expert opinion, it does not support the claim that the prosecution is making. For example, an expert may testify that the evidence used by the prosecution to prove the alleged victim’s injuries is inconsistent with the account of how they sustained these injuries. This expertise can be particularly beneficial in allowing the court a scientific insight into why the evidence does not accurately support the claims against you.
Expose The Motivation To Fabricate Allegations
There is usually a motivation behind making false accusations of domestic violence and highlighting these can be invaluable in casting doubt and discrediting the accounts against you. An alleged victim may make false allegations to influence custody or divorce proceedings or out of spite to punish their former partner. Often jealous former partners may be motivated to make false accusations when the accused has moved on with a new partner. An experienced lawyer will be familiar with the potential motivations for false claims and will carefully investigate the motives in your case to expose to the court.
Highlight Inconsistencies In Facts And Accounts
Often when an alleged victim makes false claims, there will be inconsistencies and even changes in their facts and accounts of the offense. A skilled lawyer will critically analyze every element of the accusations you face for errors and inconsistencies that will weaken the case against you and cast doubt on the allegations.
Your attorney will also work to expose any inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s behavior that do not align with the allegations. For example, if the victim did not contact law enforcement or report the abuse for a substantial time after the alleged offense occurred or if the victim has initiated friendly contact with the accused since the incident.
Do I Need An Attorney If I Have Been Falsely Accused Of Domestic Violence?
Just because you know you are not guilty, do not think you can take domestic violence allegations lightly. Unfortunately, it is possible that false accusations can lead to a charge. Similarly, false allegations can result in restraining and protective orders, damaged reputation, and even losing your child and your place to live.
If you have been wrongly accused, seek legal advice promptly from an expert defense attorney with experience disproving false domestic violence claims. Cannon & Associates are fierce advocates for our clients. We will not hesitate to fight for our clients to ensure their life is not wrongly impacted by false accusations. Our team will defend your legal rights and work tirelessly to disprove and cast doubt upon the false accusations you are facing.
Contact Cannon & Associates Today To Defend Yourself Against False Accusations
A domestic violence accusation can be devastating. The reputational impact and emotional stress when family and friends hear the allegations are compounded by the potential consequences an allegation can have on your life. You will need to fight these claims with fierce representation to ensure you don’t risk criminal charges, restraining orders, losing child custody, an unfair divorce settlement, and potential employment setbacks.
If you have been blindsided by false accusations of domestic violence, likely, you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. At Cannon & Associates, our team of expert defense attorneys is here to help you understand where to go from here and begin to build your defense. We will work with you to develop the best possible defense strategy to counter the damaging accusations you are facing, restore your reputation and protect your future.
To discuss your next steps and for advice on how to address false domestic violence accusations, book a free, no-obligation consultation with Cannon & Associates. Call our team at 405-591-3935 to schedule your appointment.
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