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False Accusations of Domestic Violence

Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Communities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties

It seems that every time we turn on the news these days, there is a new version of the age-old “he-said-she-said” conflict. Allegations of sexual assault in the workplace may be made against prominent entertainment or political figures, or an alleged victim of a decades-old sexual assault may “come forward” against someone who, due to the passage of time, can do very little to defend themselves, at least in the court of public opinion. While many of these charges are true, others are not. Unfortunately, it is not just celebrities and politicians who find themselves faced with false accusations of domestic violence. Even ordinary people can be accused of crimes that they did not commit. San Bernardino and Riverside County domestic violence lawyer Gregory H. Comings can help defendants fight back in cases in which it was clear that the so-called “victim” of an alleged act of domestic violence lied, or at least greatly exaggerated, when talking to the police about what happened between the parties.

By its nature, a “domestic violence” case involves people who have, or have had in the past, some type of relationship. It may be a familial relationship, a sexual partnership, or a roommate arrangement. Thus, the “victim” and the “perpetrator” in a case in which an act of domestic violence is alleged are acquainted. Since they are not strangers, they typically know much more about each other than the accused and the accuser would in an ordinary assault case. They probably know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, fears, and vulnerabilities.

Why False Accusations of Domestic Violence May Be Made and What Can Be Done

Not everyone is skilled at resolving conflicts in a peaceful and productive way. In a valid domestic violence case, someone has made a threat of violence or has physically abused someone with whom he or she has (or has had) a relationship of some sort. However, acts of physical violence or threatening words are not the only ways in which someone can “fight” in an unhealthy way. Telling others, especially the police, that someone has been a victim of domestic violence, when such allegations are blatantly false, is another way of acting out against a spouse, partner, or family member. While this is extremely inappropriate, it does happen. There can be several motivating factors, such as a desire to ruin the defendant’s reputation, obtain a restraining order that keeps the accused from being with the parties’ children, or gain some other type of legal advantage during a divorce or custody dispute.

Proving that the allegations made by a “victim” in a domestic violence case are false can be challenging. However, it is important to note that the burden of proof in criminal cases, including domestic violence cases, is on the prosecution, rather than the accused. The defendant also is afforded certain constitutional rights, including the right to counsel, the right to refrain from self-incrimination, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Evidence obtained in violation of these rights may be excluded at trial. In some cases, the alleged victim may have a change of heart (or come to the sobering realization that perjury is a serious crime that could potentially result in a jail sentence) and stop cooperating with authorities as the case moves forward.

Hire a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino County

Since so much is riding on the outcome of a domestic violence case, it is extremely important that the defendant take the case seriously and speak to an attorney as soon as possible. It should never be assumed that the accuser will back down from a false accusation of domestic violence or that the prosecution will see through his or her story and drop the charges against the defendant. Since domestic violence is a serious problem in California and across the country, prosecutors typically play hardball in these types of cases, and a defendant should take every possible opportunity to defend himself or herself against false allegations. To schedule an appointment to discuss a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence case in Riverside or San Bernardino County, call Attorney Gregory H. Comings at (951) 686-3457 or contact us online today.

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