Sadly, it is not uncommon for spouses to use fake domestic violence accusations as a tool during divorce to get bigger settlements and full custody (which also can mean a bigger child support check). Even outside of divorce, some people might point the finger at a spouse or partner to avoid admitting their own fault in a domestic dispute. In either situation, false accusations can lead to potentially serious consequences, and you want help from an Ohio criminal defense attorney if you have been falsely charged with domestic violence.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann., §2919.25 says that domestic violence is purposely or recklessly causing physical harm or merely threatening to harm a member of your family or household. The crime can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the extent of the injuries and the circumstances. The punishments can range from 60 days in jail and a fine of $500 to 3 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
According to the Center for Prosecutor Integrity, 8% of Americans have been falsely accused of domestic violence (that’s 20 million people). Over a quarter of these false accusations were made—you guessed it—during child custody battles. Furthermore, 30-40% of domestic violence charges can not be proven in court.
Even if the charges are complete and utter fiction, you must take them seriously because your freedom could be on the line. The single most important thing you can do is to not say anything to the police and contact a defense lawyer right away.
Also, do not speak to the accuser directly. If you contact the accuser and even just speak to them calmly and gently, it could be seen as “intimidating the witness,” which is also a crime. Channel your frustration elsewhere, and seek legal help
Your lawyer will need to have an open and honest conversation about what happened to best gather evidence in your defense. Tell your attorney who could be potential witnesses. Are there phone records that could help your case? What about GPS data proving your location at a certain time? Is there any security camera footage that could help?
You will have the opportunity to present your side of the story. It’s not uncommon for courts to ask for psychological examinations and similar things. Your lawyer will work hard to make sure no stone is left unturned, so you want to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer fighting for you every step of the way. Remember that the law requires the prosecution to prove that you did the acts in question, rather than forcing you to prove you are innocent.
The VanNoy Firm has over 20 years of experience defending domestic violence charges. Contact us to schedule a no-cost consultation and get started on your defense strategy.
No parent wishes to see their child getting in trouble with the law. Yet, even when a parent has done everything possible to raise their children on the right side…
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