Domestic violence isn’t something to be taken lightly. However, that doesn’t mean every domestic violence allegation is true. It’s a sad fact that false domestic violence allegations are common occurrences. All too often, someone is wrongly accused of domestic abuse.
In divorce cases, a domestic abuse allegation can completely change the outcome. And making an allegation is simple. Because they provide immediate protection for someone facing a genuinely abusive situation, protection orders don’t require much evidence of abuse. Find out just how often people make these false accusations and why they do it.
Getting A Protection Order Against Domestic Violence
Getting a protection order against someone is as simple as telling a judge that you feel like you are in danger. Without any actual proof, a judge can grant you an immediate temporary restraining order. And while that’s great news for someone who is in a harmful position, it’s terrible news if your partner has wrongly accused you.
So how low is the burden of proof for a restraining order? Surprisingly low. It’s called a preponderance of evidence. The accuser must prove that it is more likely than not that there was violence against the accuser. The accused individual doesn’t get a chance to defend himself in court. That’s because a protection order is given in an emergency situation; there is no court hearing. In fact, you can receive a temporary restraining order without knowing that someone has taken action against you.
Of course, you will get a chance to speak your mind in court. But it might be awhile. It can take weeks or even months before you can make an appearance in court. And once you’re in court, the law isn’t necessarily on your side. Domestic violence is a broad term. In 32 states, the definition of domestic violence includes more than just physical violence. It also involves situations where someone is scared, apprehensive, or experiencing emotional distress. Proving emotional distress isn’t the most difficult thing to do. Fighting a protection order takes an experienced lawyer, and it takes time to remedy the situation.
How does it affect your court case?
False domestic violence allegations are particularly harmful when you’re in the middle of a custody dispute. A protection order could force you out of your home, leaving your partner as the primary caretaker of your child. This could impact a judge’s custody decision. In 48 states, a judge must consider domestic violence allegations in a child custody case. At the very least, the judge needs to consider the allegations.
Financially, these allegations could cause you some serious trouble. First, there’s the cost of finding a new place to live on short notice. Then, there’s the cost of child support, spousal support, and even payments towards your previous home. There’s also the cost of extra legal fees to fight the protection order. The financial strain can really take a toll on you. Not only does this damage your finances, but it can also damage you in your battle for custody.
Even if a judge finds that the protection order was unnecessary, it may be too late to avoid damage. Temporary protection orders may show up if a future employer does a criminal background check, and your potential employer may hold that against you. In any situation, false domestic violence allegations are harmful.
False Domestic Violence Allegations Statistics
These false allegations do occur, but how common can they be? Sadly, they are more common than you might think. In 23% of divorce cases, one of the parties makes an allegation of domestic violence against the other. Most of the restraining orders that result from these allegations are against men. 85% of all restraining orders are against men. One study estimates that 70% of restraining orders are false or trivial.
Police wrongly arrest about 700,000 people for domestic violence every year. It’s an alarmingly high number, and those people don’t always find justice.
How To Handle The Situation
If someone has wrongly accused you of domestic violence allegations, you need to take action right away. Waiting too long can do irreparable damage. The first thing that you should do is find a qualified attorney. Tell him everything that you experienced and give him all the information you have on your pending charges. You should wait for advice before you take any other action, or you may risk doing damage to your court case.
Once you’ve spoken to a lawyer, you should put together some evidence that supports your case. Go through your phone records and look for anything that can prove your innocence in court. Look for any threats made by your partner, or anything that might show a hidden motive for the false domestic violence allegations. Additionally, look for witnesses who can support your case and testify against your partner.
Most importantly, don’t allow your anger to take control. It’s natural to be upset over false allegations, but saying something out of frustration can lead to even more trouble…especially if you say it in court. Stay calm and cool, and listen to your lawyer.