Four Things to Keep In Mind If You’re Up Against False Accusations in Court
It can be frightening to be falsely accused in court. In civil cases like divorce and child custody, your former partner may feel desperate or vindictive. They may make a false accusation against you to get revenge or help leverage their side of the case. You know that you did not do what you are being falsely accused of—but what steps should you take to make sure your name is cleared?
You must be prepared to defend yourself when someone has made false accusations against you. There are several steps you should take as soon as you are aware of the false accusation. These will help you protect your reputation and make sure the false accuser is dealt with as swiftly as possible.
1) Watch your Reaction
What is the first thing you should do when you are falsely accused of something? You need to watch your reaction and be controlled in your responses. Remember, even in civil cases like divorce or child custody, anything you say can and will be used against you. While it is understandable that you may be angry and upset, you cannot act too quickly without thinking. If you do this, it could damage your case and your response to the false accusations.
As hard as it may be, don’t share your feelings with too many people. Anyone that you share information with, including friends and family, could be called as witnesses to testify in court in the future. They could be asked to describe your reaction and what you said, even if you said things in confidence, in anger, or as a passing joke. This includes any statements you may make on social media. Also remember, nothing on the internet that is deleted is really gone. It is best to just not say anything at all.
2) Keep Meticulous Records
When someone makes a false accusation against you it is important to keep in-depth records. You should already be doing this if you are in a combative situation. However, once you have a false accusation against you it is time to make sure your records are accurate and thorough. You can carry a journal with you to record anything that happens, but it is also best to back up your records digitally to ensure that they won’t be lost.
Take notes of every interaction you have with the person who is falsely accusing you. This includes phone calls and text messages. If you hear someone mention the accusation, write down who told you, what was said, and when it happened. Take screenshots of anything you see online that involves your case. Anything could help prove your innocence, even if it seems small.
3) Hire a Lawyer
How do you defend yourself against false accusations? The best way to do this is to hire a lawyer to be your advocate. A lawyer knows the law regarding false accusations. With a lawyer, you are also protected by attorney-client privilege. This means that almost everything you say to the lawyer is protected and cannot be used against you in court.
A lawyer can help you go over the false accusation claim and figure out your best defense. This will depend on the nature of the false accusation and what type of claim it is. For example, in a child custody claim one parent may falsely accuse the other parent of abuse to try and get full custody. If this is the case, you will need representation in civil court to make sure your custody is not taken away. You may also need representation in criminal court if any criminal abuse charges are brought against you.
4) It is a Long Game, Not a Short One
It is difficult to understand how to deal with false accusations. However, the law is on your side because making false accusations in court is a crime. The punishment depends on the severity of the accusation. Your accuser could be fined or given jail time. They could also face repercussions in civil court. For example, they could lose or get limited custody if the false accusation involves a child.
Your lawyer can help you determine the best course of action, but it is important to remember that there is unlikely to be a quick solution. It is best to plan for the long haul. The best ways to prepare for this is to not react in haste, keep accurate records, and hire an attorney to defend you and clear your reputation.