September 16, 2022 | Domestic Violence
Being accused of domestic violence is serious, even when the allegations are false. You could still serve time in jail if you are wrongfully convicted. Also, you face damage to your reputation and a host of other collateral consequences.
The best way to prevent a domestic violence conviction on false charges is to know how to avoid wrongful allegations. A few things to consider and remind yourself of when the situation arises include:
Understand What Ohio Considers Domestic Violence
The first step in protecting yourself from false allegations is understanding domestic violence laws. Ohio Revised Code §2919.25 defines domestic violence very broadly.
Domestic violence can include:
- Attempting to cause or causing a household family member to sustain physical injuries or harm
- Recklessly causing a household or family member severe physical injuries or harm
- Causing a household or family member to believe the offender will cause them imminent physical harm by threat or force
You do not need to touch your spouse or a family member to commit domestic violence. In addition to the above, you could be charged with sexual battery and violating a protection order or restraining order.
Ohio has severe punishments for domestic violence convictions. A first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail. On the other end of the spectrum, a first-degree felony domestic violence charge carries a fine of up to $20,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
Avoid Getting into Arguments and Fights
Becoming angry and losing your temper opens the door to wrongful domestic violence allegations. Something you say in anger could be interpreted as a threat. Under the law, causing your family member to believe you will cause them imminent harm is sufficient for an arrest on domestic violence charges.
Therefore, keep your temper in check and think before you speak. Try to diffuse the situation whenever possible. If you cannot control your temper, walk away.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
If you believe your partner or another family member will file false allegations of domestic violence, begin taking steps to protect yourself.
Things you can do include:
- Change all passwords and logins for your online accounts, including banking, communications, and social media
- Talk with a counselor or therapist about your fears and concerns
- Tell your family and friends you are worried about false allegations of domestic violence
- Keep a journal detailing the instances in which your spouse or family member tried to instigate an argument or became abusive to try to get you to react
- Write a list of witnesses who can testify about your character
Do not raise your voice, yell, or make threats to a family member. Try not to be alone with that family member. Always have someone else present who can testify that you did not do anything to warrant domestic violence charges.
Get Legal Advice Now Instead of Later
Schedule a free consultation with a Cincinnati domestic violence lawyer. Explain your situation and ask the lawyer for advice. If possible, you want to head off false allegations of domestic violence before an arrest.
A criminal defense lawyer can explain your legal rights and provide detailed information about what could happen if you are arrested for domestic violence. The attorney might suggest that you consult a family lawyer to determine what you should do to remove yourself from a volatile relationship.
What Should I Do if I Am Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges in Cincinnati, OH?
Do not talk to the police without a lawyer present. Contact a Cincinnati domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. You need to build a solid defense against false allegations of domestic violence, and you need an experienced lawyer to help you.
Never try to contact the accuser directly or through another person. If you must communicate with them, do so through your attorney. Coming anywhere near the accuser may violate a protective order, and at the very least, it could be construed as hostile and threatening.
Write a detailed narrative about the incident in question. List as much information as you can remember. If anyone witnessed the incident, give the attorney their names and contact information.
Your lawyer will likely give you more specific advice and instructions. Follow your lawyer’s advice.
Potential Defenses to Wrongful Allegations of Domestic Violence
Your primary defense is that the allegations of domestic violence are false. Your lawyer will work to discredit the accuser and present evidence that proves you are innocent.
However, there could be other defenses your attorney may explore.
For example, were you acting in self-defense of yourself or another person? Was there probable cause for your arrest? Your lawyer may also challenge the state’s case for lack of evidence.
You might not be able to avoid false allegations of domestic violence, but you can work with a lawyer to build a solid defense against the charges.
Contact the Cincinnati Domestic Violence Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202