It’s not unheard of for a partner or spouse to lie about being the victim of domestic violence.
While not all domestic violence cases are unfounded, false allegations are often laid by a partner or spouse that is vindictive. They may involve family law proceedings concerned with children or family property. These cases may involve turning children or other family members against you.
Why? It’s a power play. False allegations can be used as leverage in a divorce or separation.
A partner or spouse may play the victim for revenge. Nasty allegations can also be used to improve the accuser’s chances of gaining full ownership of assets, or to gain full custody of children or pets. There are even times where the accuser manages to get a child to take their side, further complicating matters for the accused.
And even when they are untrue, false accusations of violence made against a man can cause lasting damage, especially since men are statistically more likely to be the abuser in the relationship. Let’s not forget, while less common, men can be the victims of domestic violence as well.
The legal system favours the alleged victims in domestic violence cases, which are most often women, for a number of good reasons. Unfortunately, knowing this about the system and the court makes it easier to abuse it.
Even if you have been wrongfully accused and are in fact the victim, you can face various legal repercussions, which are dependent upon the severity of the charges. The Criminal Code of Canada dictates that the legal consequences you could face are:
- Payment in the form of restitution to your spouse or partner
- A fine
- Possible jail time
- A lengthy period of probation
- A criminal record
Because the police have been instructed to take domestic violence cases seriously and prefer to err on the side of caution, they often will arrest someone on scene and take them into custody on a simple statement of an intimate partner. This can happen even if there aren’t any visible injuries. The police will act to immediately separate you from your spouse and children to ensure their safety, cutting off contact. Often a release order by a court will include a no-contact condition. In other words, it is possible to be punished whether or not you’re innocent.
That’s why every defense attorney on the Sicotte & Sandhu team works so hard to push back against criminal allegations like these.
Outside of the Court
The results of fabricated accusations will vary. But often the public will perceive someone as an abuser, even when nothing has been proven in court. While the legal system still considers you innocent until proven guilty, the public is increasingly considering anyone charged with domestic violence as guilty without weighing any evidence or considering both sides. Oftentimes, the damage cannot be undone, even if you are acquitted by a court.
This is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable lawyer fighting on your side and potentially getting the charges dropped against you without needing to take the matter to trial.
If you are arrested, charged, and later granted bail, you may be required to stay away from your family, which may mean having to make other living arrangements. False charges can also affect your credibility and relationships, both professional and personal. Fabricated domestic violence charges can also lead to financial, emotional, and psychological consequences for the accused.
This is time you and your children will not get back. Relationships with friends and family will be severely strained. And depending on the age of the children, they may not be aware of or understand the true nature of the situation and why one of their parents is absent, leading to confusion and unnecessary emotional turmoil for them.
The best way to handle this is to hire a professional criminal defense lawyer who can give you the support and information you need.
Steps to Take
There are several ways to help your case go smoothly when you are the victim of an unfounded accusation:
- Refrain from giving a statement to the police when you are arrested and faced with domestic charges. They most likely will read you your rights, informing you that it is your right to remain silent to avoid saying anything about the case that can be used later on.
- Contact a criminal defense attorney who has handled cases like yours. You will need expert advice and information that will help you prove your case and clear your name.
- If you are granted bail, follow the conditions to the letter. Your spouse or partner may communicate with you as a ploy to have you breach your bail conditions. They may even claim they want to work out a settlement or allow you to speak with your children. For your own good, do not believe them. Always get legal advice about your conditions if you are unsure!
- Write down everything related to your spouse or partner’s accusations. Your version of events is important since it can contain details that disproves the accusations, especially if they focus on an event that never happened. You should record where you actually were, what you were doing, and who could vouch for you.
- Work with your lawyer to gather evidence and valuable information. This will entail contacting witnesses and people who can testify on your behalf about the event, your presence, or your character.
Contact Us Right Away!
Trust a Sicotte & Sandhu Criminal Defense lawyer to defend your rights when you’ve been falsely accused of a crime.
We will be with you every step of the way. Our team will review the charges in the case, explain legal proceedings, build your case, and do what we can to reduce your stress. We’re here to help you regain your good name and rebuild your reputation, so you can recover from the trauma.
Contact us today to start working on your case!