Domestic violence is a serious problem both in Texas and throughout the world. Domestic violence can permanently affect a victim’s life, as well as the lives of any children or family members involved.
What many people often do not think about is that a domestic violence accusation can also permanently affect the life of the accused. People sometimes make false allegations of domestic violence, and even if the allegations are eventually proven untrue, the impact of the false accusation may remain.
Gaining an advantage in custody or divorce proceedings
People make false claims of domestic violence for many reasons. One of the most common scenarios involves custody.
When parents are in a custody battle against one another, one parent may accuse the other of domestic violence to gain custody of a child or turn the child against the other parent.
A bitter divorce or breakup is another reason people make false claims of domestic violence. An allegation in this situation is sometimes motivated by nothing more than revenge.
Consequences of a domestic violence conviction
A domestic violence conviction carries serious penalties. In addition to the criminal penalties, you could also lose that custody battle, your job and/or the respect of your family and friends, who may always wonder if the allegations were true, no matter the ultimate outcome.
This is why it is essential that you put on the strongest possible criminal defense if you are accused of a domestic violence charge. There are many ways to attack the allegation.
Domestic violence under Texas law means committing an assault against a dating partner, household member or family member. The assault can be intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm, threatening to cause bodily harm or causing offensive physical contact.
Proving a domestic violence charge
Like any other criminal charge, proving domestic violence requires evidence. Prosecutors must have probable cause to charge you with a domestic violence crime and sometimes that is simply the word of the alleged victim, potentially combined with a witness statement or photographs.
However, to secure a conviction, the burden the prosecution must meet is much higher.
Defending against a domestic violence charge
For example, you might be able to challenge the credibility of any witnesses by showing that they have lied about other matters in the past. You can also present evidence that they are a close friend or family member of the alleged victim, which would motivate them to lie for the victim.
When it comes to evidence such as photographs, the prosecution must prove that the photographs were from the incident in question, and not a different incident involving someone else.
Additionally, they must prove that the photographs were not doctored or edited in any way. Sometimes alleged domestic violence victims even intentionally cause physical harm to themselves, just so they can claim that someone else did it.
A domestic violence charge must be taken seriously
You might find yourself in a situation where you did cause the bodily harm but did it unintentionally or accidentally. If the prosecution cannot prove that the act was done with intent, knowledge or recklessness, they have not met their standard for conviction.
Although there are plenty of possible defenses to a domestic violence charge, you do not want to face the criminal system on your own. The stakes are simply too high. Having a professional on your side to protect your rights and develop a strategy is crucial at a time like this.