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Michigan Criminal Law Blog

What You Need to Know about Domestic Violence Accusations

Relationships can turn volatile and unfortunately, accusations are made that might not be entirely based in fact. If you are on the receiving end of false allegations of domestic abuse, there are several things you need to know. Domestic violence is a crime and it can result in your serving jail time and paying steep fines – not to mention the numerous ways in which it can damage your future.

What Should You Do If You are Accused of Domestic Violence?

If your significant other (or former significant other) contacts law enforcement and reports an incident of domestic violence, you will be arrested. It doesn’t matter whether or not the report is accurate or even true. Law enforcement knows potential domestic violence situations are volatile and their number one priority is to diffuse any further problems. The time to argue your case is not at your arrest, but later, when things have calmed down and you are represented by someone who understands the law. If you are arrested for domestic violence, say nothing and comply with law enforcement without incriminating yourself.

Once you are given the opportunity to do so, you need to contact an experienced domestic violence attorney. He or she can advise you concerning how to proceed and can give you directions for how to conduct yourself around law enforcement. It’s also important you follow directions concerning interactions with your accuser – the less time you spend with your accuser the better.

Next, you and your attorney need to build your defense. Your accuser and his or her attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the acts for which you are accused. In some cases, there are increased penalties when assault charges are related to a romantic relationship, so the prosecution will also need to prove you were romantically involved with your accuser.

Once it is proven you were in a romantic relationship with your accuser, the prosecution will need to prove the events in question actually occurred and that you were responsible for them. If there is physical evidence of injury it’s very difficult to claim your accuser falsified or lied about the report. Instead, you and your attorney will need to show you were not the responsible party or that your intentions were not to harm – both things for which the prosecution must prove with evidence.

It might also be possible to claim your actions were made in self-defense. If your significant other (or former significant other) was the first to attack, you have the legal right to protect yourself within reason. It’s important to give your attorney a thorough and honest description of the events in question, including what preceded the time when a crime was supposedly committed.

Protecting Your Rights against Domestic Violence Allegations

If you have been accused of domestic violence, it’s important you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Your future is at stake and there is no reason to put your well-being at risk – even if your goal is to “work things out,” or diffuse the situation and get your relationship back on track. Your first priority must be you own well-being.

For more information or to speak to someone about domestic violence allegations that have been made against you, contact Andrew W. Kowalkowski, PLLC at 248.974.9594 to schedule a consultation.

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