No family is perfect, and there are bound to be arguments along the way, but an argument, even if shouting is involved, is a very different matter than domestic violence. Domestic violence is a serious claim, and invariably will cause fractures in a family, as this is an issue that tends to push people to take one side or the other.
Unfortunately, when the police are called about an alleged incident of domestic violence, and one spouse or partner has led away in handcuffs, many people automatically assume the claims of abuse must be true. The fallout of these judgments can mean the loss of friends, family, and even employment and parental rights, so it is crucial to strongly fight these allegations and attempt to clear one’s name.
The crime of domestic violence encompasses a wide range of behavior and can result in a variety of repercussions that extend far beyond fines and imprisonment. To fully understand how to combat false allegations, the accused must first know what exactly domestic violence means under Georgia law, and then, turn to the types of tactics and strategy that can be effective in exposing untrue claims.
What Is Domestic Violence?
At its most basic, domestic violence refers to abuse within a household between intimate partners and/or family members. Specifically, it refers to violence among:
- Past or current spouses;
- Parents and children;
- Stepparents and stepchildren; or
- Other individuals living in the same household.
Further, a charge of domestic violence may be filed for the commission of any felony among the individuals noted above, giving prosecutors a lot of leeways to charge this crime, as well as acts of battery, assault, stalking, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint, or criminal damage to property. In other words, this crime covers a lot of ground, and it would not be particularly difficult to make a statement of abuse that fits within this definition.
This crime may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, and punishments can range from jail time to significant fines and mandatory counseling. In addition, restraining orders typically follow these allegations, which can block the accused from seeing his/her children, living in the family home, or having any contact with a spouse or other family members. These punishments, of course, do not even touch on how this crime can block a person from getting loans, finding a job, or leasing a place to live.
How to Fight False Allegations
Given what is at stake when domestic violence is alleged, a defendant falsely accused must vigorously challenge these allegations, and not be pressured into taking a deal or pleading guilty to end the ordeal. At the outset, overcoming false allegations can seem insurmountable, especially with the stigma society attaches to these allegations.
However, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney levels the playing field, and gives the defendant a real chance at avoiding a conviction. The most effective way to combat allegations of false abuse is to expose inconsistencies, motivations to lie, and other discrepancies. In other words, to poke holes in the accuser’s story. This effort includes analyzing police reports, witness statements, and testimony to see if the defendant has an alibi for the time the alleged abuse happened, the accuser initiated contact or allowed parenting time after the alleged violence, or third parties are aware of statements that conflict or refute the claims made.
Contact a Carrollton Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal charges are overwhelming, and domestic violence allegations are particularly hard to fight. If you are facing claims of domestic abuse, contact the attorneys at Moffitt Law, LLC. They know how the criminal system treats domestic violence offenders and will do everything possible to get you the best possible outcome. Contact the Carrollton office for a free consultation.
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.