False Domestic Violence Allegations: How You Can Avoid Wrongful Allegations in California
February 7, 2023 | Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law
Over 20 million Americans report being falsely accused of domestic violence and other forms of abuse. False domestic violence allegations can be devastating. As a result of a fake allegation, you may be arrested, forced to hire a lawyer to defend you, and potentially convicted and sentenced to jail time.
By understanding the law, you can avoid wrongful allegations in California.
What Is Domestic Violence In California?
Domestic violence in California is physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse, or threatened abuse, against an intimate (or formerly intimate) partner.
Under California law, an intimate partner includes:
- A spouse or former spouse
- A cohabitant or former cohabitant (like a roommate)
- A romantic partner or former romantic partner
- The mother or father of a shared child
There are two main domestic violence charges in California, though several crimes can fall under the “domestic violence” umbrella.
Domestic battery does not require an injury and is usually charged as a misdemeanor. It can be proven by something as simple as pushing or shoving, even if it doesn’t leave a mark or a bruise. Infliction of a corporal injury requires some sort of injury, whether external or internal.
Why Do People Make False Domestic Violence Allegations?
It’s very easy for people to make false domestic violence allegations. That’s because many domestic violence charges are “he-said, she-said” cases. There aren’t usually outside witnesses because domestic crimes often happen in the home. This makes it easy for someone to lie about domestic violence and for others not to be suspicious.
It’s common for people to make false allegations to:
- Get a more favorable outcome in a divorce
- Gain full custody of shared children
- Get back at their partner for cheating
- Seek revenge after a heated argument
The problem is that false domestic violence allegations can ruin lives. A domestic violence conviction can have serious consequences beyond jail time. It is important to speak to a lawyer, especially if you are innocent.
Tips To Avoid Wrongful Allegations
If you suspect that your partner (or former partner) may try to wrongfully accuse you of domestic violence, you’re not alone. There are a few steps that you can take to avoid being wrongfully accused in the first place.
Understand the Law
The most important step is to understand domestic violence law in California. Many people wrongfully assume that you must cause an injury to be convicted. You can be convicted of some crimes even if you didn’t hurt the other person. Additionally, a small bruise, cut, or swelling can mean you are convicted of a felony.
You should always avoid pushing, shoving, or placing your hands on your partner during an argument. Even forcefully taking something from their hand, like a cell phone, can be construed as domestic abuse. Never put yourself in a position where your partner can argue that you touched them rudely or angrily.
Avoid Heated Arguments
It’s always good to avoid having a heated argument with your partner or former partner. This can greatly decrease your chances of a false accusation. If you learn to resolve conflicts calmly, you can avoid escalating an argument.
If you are in a disagreement and feel yourself becoming angry, you can always remove yourself from the situation before it gets worse. It’s better to leave the house and take time to cool off than to get into a fight. Even a quick walk around the block can help.
Call a Trusted Person
If you do get into a heated argument, you can always call someone you trust. You aren’t allowed to record someone in private without their consent, but you can call a friend or family member. They can hear what is going on in the background.
This is a great way to have a witness in your case, even though they aren’t present in the room. If they can hear the other person becoming angry while you remain calm, they might be able to testify on your behalf later in the case.
Put Cameras in the House (With Consent)
Home security systems help to keep out burglars, but they also have the added benefit of recording incidents in the home. If you have cameras in your house with the consent of others who live there, you can use this footage in case you are accused of domestic violence.
Contact a San Jose Domestic Violence Attorney If You’re Facing False Allegations
Your life and freedom are at stake if you’re convicted of domestic violence – so it’s important to seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible if you’ve been accused. Contact a San Jose domestic violence lawyer to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – San Jose Office
1625 The Alameda, Suite 405, San Jose, CA 95126
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – Redwood City Office
600 Allerton St Suite 201G, Redwood City, CA 94063