Are You Facing Domestic Battery Accusations?
It is important to believe victims when they come forward with accusations of violence and abuse. Western culture does not always put the victim’s claims first and chooses instead to think that they brought things upon themselves somehow, that they were ‘asking for it.’ This is unfair and unjust. In every domestic abuse case, a thorough investigation must occur to uncover the facts.
Some of those facts do not favor the supposed victim.
Roughly eight percent of all domestic violence cases are instances of false accusations; that’s approximately 20 million Americans.
False accusations are themselves an act of domestic abuse. Threatening a domestic partner with the prospect of making a false accusation puts the other person in a submissive position where their freedoms and image are endangered. It may even result in a parent losing custody of their children. It is an act of control and manipulation. Studies suggest that women are more likely to use false accusations as a threat against their male partners than men are to use it as a means to abuse and manipulate women.
According to research by the National Registry of Exonerations, false accusations are responsible for the majority of wrongful convictions and wrongful imprisonment. These false accusations are a serious threat to justice in America and the freedom of its citizens. So, while it is essential to trust the victims, it is also worth remembering that sometimes the victim is the one who has been falsely accused of violent acts.
If you have been falsely charged with domestic violence battery in California, you must seek legal counsel without delay. These charges can be serious and, even if proven false, can damage your public and professional reputation if the case is allowed to go on for too long.
What is Considered Domestic Violence Under California State Law?
When we hear the term ‘domestic violence,’ our minds might imagine images of bruised bodies and frightened children. However, domestic violence is not restricted only to physical violence. One need not ever leave a bruise or break the skin of their victim to be considered guilty of domestic violence under the law.
Domestic violence can extend to threats of bodily harm made against another person or any acts of intimidation where the victim fears for their lives. Stalking and harassment also qualify.
Any acts to bring bodily harm upon another person with a domestic relationship to the attacker can qualify as domestic violence.
Any assault against a child, spouse, ex-spouse, romantic partner, family member, or domestic cohabitant can be domestic violence. This includes sexual assault and battery, aggravated assault and battery, kidnapping, and false imprisonment.
What Are Common Defenses for Those Accused of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence charges are serious, but those accused are not without defense.
Potential options for building a legal defense include:
- Accidents happen. If the domestic violence resulted from an accident, and the facts support this, then the charges may be dropped or lessened in severity.
- Disputes about the facts relating to the incident in question.
- The instances where the defendant claims that, yes, an attack took place but wasn’t them are rare in domestic violence cases. Such things do happen, however. For example, maybe a different housemate was actually responsible for the domestic violence, or maybe there was a home intruder.
- Lack of physical evidence, such as bruising, in instances of domestic battery.
- Police investigations are flawed, resulting in evidence that corrupts the integrity of the case. If law enforcement fouled up, then that could be a sound legal defens
- Other evidence does not support the accusations being made against the alleged abuser.
- The accused acted in defense of their personal property.
- The accused acted in defense of others.
- The accused acted out of self-defense.
- The supposed victim made false accusations as an act of revenge or vindictiveness.
- The violence was part of a mutually agreed upon fight or act of combat.
All of these defenses have their strengths and weaknesses. Self-defense, for example, can be a risky legal argument because it acknowledges that, yes, you were responsible for the damage done to the other person. To determine what legal defense suits your needs, speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
To successfully be convicted of domestic violence, a domestic relationship must be proven. In California, the qualifying relationships may include a person’s spouse, ex-spouse, the parent of the person’s child, cohabitant, girlfriend or boyfriend, intimate partner, parent, child, and certain relatives.
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped by the Victim?
Victims have many reasons for why they may recant or wish to drop domestic violence charges. While the victim’s requests will be taken into consideration, the victim is unable to stop a domestic violence case from proceeding. It is reasoned that the abuser could be pressuring their victim to drop the charges. Thus the case must proceed regardless.
Victims can file a Waiver of Prosecution, which will be added to the case along with all the other contributing factors. Victims should speak with legal counsel if they wish to drop charges.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, you must seek legal defense immediately. The sooner that your criminal defense attorneys have all the facts, the sooner they may be able to clear your name.
The Deng Law Center has years of experience serving clients in the state of California. To discuss your case in more detail, please contact our office at 626-280-6000.