Domestic violence is a huge problem in Los Angeles and the state will not hesitate to prosecute you if you have been accused of abusing someone in your home. While an aggressive approach helps to enforce the law and protect victims, this system is easily abused. There are too many times when scorned lovers, upset parents, and estranged spouses make false claims of domestic abuse. These false allegations are also made to gain the upper hand in a divorce or child custody battle.
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in Los Angeles do not hesitate to contact an attorney. Hiring an attorney to help you fight the false allegations can prevent you from suffering serious and life-changing consequences.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a broad term that refers to a variety of physically and/or emotionally abusive and/or threatening behaviors. Battery, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, destruction of property, and making threats are all acts that can fall under the definition of domestic violence. However, in order to qualify as a crime of domestic abuse the victim and perpetrator must have an established relationship of some kind. In California, you can face criminal charges for domestic violence if you abuse or threaten any of the following people:
- Spouse or former spouse;
- Cohabitant or former cohabitant;
- Your child’s other parent;
- Current or former dating partner;
- Current or former fiance;
- Parents; or
- Other closely related family members.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Accusations
Crimes of domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in California. Regardless of the severity of the charge, a conviction will result in serious and life-changing criminal penalties, including time behind bars, steep fines, restitution to your victim, mandatory abuse counseling, and probation. If the court believes that you are a threat to your family, they may issue an Order of Protection prohibiting you from contacting or seeing them. This can be disastrous for any child custody and/or visitation rights you have.
Your life can be adversely affected even if you are not convicted of a crime. Whispers of domestic violence can affect almost any aspect of your life. You may lose your job or find that it is difficult to secure gainful employment. If you try to rent or buy a home, and the landlord or seller has heard about the domestic violence accusations, they may be hesitant to have you in the neighborhood. Domestic violence allegations can also negatively affect important family legal disputes.
Fighting False Allegations of Domestic Violence
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence it is incredibly important to fight the charges you face. False allegations can cause you to suffer from life-changing criminal and non-criminal consequences. Hiring an attorney to help clear your name will prevent you from being punished for something you did not do.
Your attorney will investigate the alleged act(s) of domestic violence, find evidence to support your innocence, and encourage your accuser to tell the truth. Proving that the allegations against you are false will be incredibly important in any legal proceedings you are involved in, including those for child custody or divorce. If you do not fight the false domestic violence allegations you may lose your parental rights and/or suffer serious losses in your divorce.