Society and the court system view domestic violence as one of the more serious charges against a person. Whether you are guilty or not, just being accused of such behavior can negatively impact your current life and future. This is especially true for those who are currently going through a divorce, as it can cast a perception of you that is anything but favorable. Unfortunately, some spouses may undermine what true victims go through by falsely accusing their soon-to-be ex spouse of a violent offense.
If this sounds like a situation you are going through, then you must respond by hiring a criminal defense attorney, like a criminal defense attorney in Fairfax, VA, who also understands the nuances of divorce.
How Domestic Violence is Defined
Most people believe that domestic violence is only when physical harm is committed against a romantic partner. Much to people’s surprise, you don’t actually have to be currently involved with someone in a romantic way to be found guilty, and physical harm isn’t the only behavior categorized under domestic violence. Depending on the state you live in, the laws for domestic violence may vary.
In general, incidents of abuse that is committed against a person who is a former spouse, current spouse, former cohabitant, cohabitant, or who has shared children with can be considered domestic violence. This also extends to people who are related by marriage or blood, or those who live in the same home. Domestic violence can be actions that are or are not physical, including:
- Mental abuse
- Destroying personal property
- Sexual abuse
- Throwing things at the person
Why You Shouldn’t Wait
Spouses who are accused of domestic violence during divorce may be tempted to wait things out in hopes that their partner calms down and chooses to not press charges. Sadly, if the accusing spouse ever decides to retract their statement, it will likely be too late. The accused spouse may have already suffered repercussions just for the arrest itself. For example, the judge may have deemed the falsely accused spouse unfit to share custody of the children, and may have awarded sole physical and legal custody to the other parent. That is why it is crucial that accused spouses get legal help and take action right away, without hesitation. Time cannot be taken back, particularly when it comes to the divorce process and terms that have been established by the court.
Unraveling What Really Happened
One of the ways that your lawyer can come to your defense, is through weakening the proof that your spouse brings forward against you. Your lawyer can unravel what truly occurred by identifying where your spouse is being inconsistent with their story. You lawyer may consult with forensic experts, witnesses, and other parties that could influence the verdict in your favor. But, time is of the essence. So if you don’t act quickly, then it gives less time for your lawyer to build a case in your defense. The best way to respond to a false domestic violence accusation, is to hire professionals who can help protect you now.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into how to respond if your ex-spouse is falsely accusing you of domestic violence.