Thousands of men and women are victims of domestic violence each year. With so many real victims out there, it is hard to imagine that anyone would pretend to be a victim of such a horrible crime. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which a person will accuse someone of domestic violence simply to ruin their career or to get revenge on them after a breakup.
However, false allegations of domestic violence can cause more than just hurt feelings or a ruined reputation. Without the help of a qualified attorney, many people have been wrongfully charged and convicted of domestic violence based on false allegations. According to the California Penal Code, Sec. 273.5:
- A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can result in up to 1 year in county jail, up to $6,000 in fines, a restraining order for up to 10 years, and/or summary probation.
- A felony domestic violence conviction can result in 2 to 4 years in state prison, up to $6,000 in fines, formal probation, and/or a restraining order of up to 10 years.
What should I do if I have been falsely accused of domestic violence?
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it is likely in your best interest to avoid all contact with your accuser. Anything you say to them could be taken out of context and be used against you later. Instead, focus your efforts on consulting with an attorney and collecting evidence that will support your story. Evidence may include:
- Text messages, voicemails, and social media posts from your accuser
- Surveillance footage
- Witness testimony
- Police reports/inconsistent statements made by your accuser to law enforcement officials
- Photographs/videos from the scene of the incident
You should not suffer consequences for domestic violence acts you did not commit. A criminal defense attorney can help make sure that false accusations made against you do not ruin your life.