Domestic violence is a serious crime that deeply impacts all members of a family. False allegations of domestic violence can be just as devastating. A recent national survey showed that 17% of respondents had been falsely accused of domestic violence.
The implications of a domestic violence charge are far-reaching. Someone who is convicted of the charge faces not only criminal and civil penalties but also financial consequences and damage to their reputation.
When Can I Be Charged with Domestic Violence in Arizona?
A domestic violence charge often begins when police visit a residence because of a 911 call. Officers have the authority to charge you at the scene if they have probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed.
Actions that lead to domestic violence charges include:
- Threatening or intimidating
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Animal cruelty
- Disorderly conduct
- Preventing a 911 call
- Sexual assault
You must also be in a particular relationship with a person in order for a domestic violence charge to be warranted.
These types of relationships include:
- Marriage or cohabitation, whether current or past
- Co-parents, whether the child is born or unborn
- Children and parents
- Grandparents and grandchildren
- Siblings related by blood or court order
- Step-parents and children, step-grandparents and grandchildren
- Romantic or sexual partners
The city or county prosecutor will review the police case and send the file over to the prosecutor as a misdemeanor or felony. The prosecutor will then decide whether the charge is warranted and proceed accordingly.
What Happens if I Am Falsely Charged with Domestic Violence in Arizona?
If the prosecutor files charges, you will have to prove through the criminal process that you did not commit domestic violence.
The prosecutor will be gunning for time behind bars and heavy monetary penalties. Any defendant in this situation needs an experienced criminal defense attorney to discredit any witness supporting the false testimony, including the supposed victim.
How to Avoid Wrongful Allegations of Domestic Violence in Arizona
No matter how similar domestic violence cases may be, they vary wildly. According to research performed by UT Health San Antonio, domestic violence cases are some of the most unpredictable situations to handle. Fortunately, there are ways to help avoid being jailed and fined for a false domestic violence charge.
Keep and Preserve Detailed Records
You need evidence to prove your innocence. A simple journal entry, email, or video can go a long way in categorically refuting false claims. If your relationship is at a point where a person may make a false allegation, then detailed records are a good defense.
Additionally, if someone threatens to make a false allegation against you, document that. And tell multiple trusted people about the threat.
Don’t Confess to the Police
If the police come to your home, your first and best defense is never to confess. And you should never admit to any behavior that might give the police probable cause to arrest you.
For instance, if you admit to yelling and getting in the alleged victim’s face, your statement could be used to help substantiate an arrest and charge based on a false allegation.
Consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney
There is no substitute for a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Their job is to dismantle the prosecutor’s case by questioning the credibility of the person making the false allegations. The sooner you have an attorney handling your case, the better chance you are likely to stand against false allegations.
Do Not Discuss Your Situation With Anyone But Your Attorney
Never discuss the details of your case with anyone except your attorney. Don’t reach out to the alleged victim or their friends or family in any way, including on social media. The prosecutor could use your words against you or call anyone you speak to as a witness.
Obey Court Orders
A simple way to help you avoid wrongful allegations is to comply with any court orders you may have, including protective orders. Regardless of the validity of the order, you should never violate any judicial mandates, even if you’re innocent.
An Attorney Can Help You Fight False Domestic Violence Allegations
Facing false domestic violence allegations can turn your life upside down. If you’re innocent of the charges, you need an experienced attorney to fight to clear your name and avoid the possible criminal and civil penalties and damage to your reputation.
Contact the Domestic Violence Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today
For more information, contact the domestic violence attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evalution, so get the help you deserve today.
The post False Domestic Violence Allegations: How You Can Avoid Wrongful Allegations in Arizona appeared first on Orent Law Offices, PLC.