False Accusations in Prince William County Domestic Violence Cases
False accusations in Prince William County domestic violence cases are not uncommon. Exaggerated or slanted accusations are typical in such cases as well.
If you were accused of domestic violence, you could benefit from the services of an experienced criminal attorney. A lawyer could scrutinize the evidence against you and identify any inconsistencies in the witness’ story. If they find holes in the prosecution’s case, they could fight for justice on your behalf.
Reasons for False Accusations
There are a number of reasons why a person would falsely accuse another of domestic violence. One reason is the inherent emotional volatility of being a family or household member. Sometimes, a jealous or spiteful person would attempt to use a domestic violence charge as leverage over an accused for personal reasons.
Other times, the false charge may be a more calculated attempt to disrupt an accused’s living situation, employment situation, immigration status, marital status, or custody or visitation rights with common children. Other instances involve people close to the accused who may suffer from mental illness and mistakenly perceive that they have been wronged in a way that warrants the legal system’s attention.
First Steps After a Domestic Violence Allegation
The most immediate thing a person could do to protect themselves from allegations of domestic abuse is to preserve and/or acquire any evidence within their control that supports their innocence. This usually includes pictures or copies of communications between the accused and the alleged victim as well as the observations of any potential witnesses present during the alleged incident.
The next best thing an accused could do to defend themselves is to engage the services of a domestic violence attorney who could begin to develop a defense strategy against the charges and secure important evidence that the prosecution may have in its possession or control.
Domestic violence charges are often serious and inconvenient to litigate. They carry more potential short-term and long-term consequences than most other types of criminal cases, including possible mandatory minimum sentences and protective orders. They also tend to be extremely emotional for the parties and could result in even more charges being brought during the pendency of the underlying case.
Finally, they could result in the accused being held in jail for long periods of time even before trial occurs. On almost every front that matters in a criminal case, it is extremely important for a person to thoroughly prepare for a domestic violence defense in consultation with an experienced defense attorney.
A domestic violence lawyer will work to compile multiple forms of evidence to protect a defendant charged with domestic violence. Common types of evidence include:
- Recordings of
phoneand social media communications
- Photographs of people and places involved in the case
- Recorded statements
- 911 calls
- Police reports
- Criminal complaints
- Body-camera footage from the arresting officers
- Testimony from third-party witnesses
How an Attorney Could Help
The Virginia rules of evidence admissibility make most types of evidence fairly difficult to present at trial if the prosecution objects. As such, defense attorneys often reveal some of their evidence during negotiations before trial to gauge how impactful it is on the prosecution and to justify the potential need for continuances to prepare all the necessary evidence by trial.
Sometimes defense attorneys can convince prosecutors to agree to the admissibility of certain evidence, perhaps in exchange for a similar stipulation to part of the prosecution’s evidence. The rules for presenting evidence during a sentencing hearing are much more relaxed, however.
If you need protection from false accusations in Prince William County domestic violence cases, contact a skilled defense attorney. They could work to protect your rights at every step of the case.