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As many judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys can testify, a wrongful arrest in a domestic violence case is too often used as a kind of weapon in a courtroom setting. Most attorneys have seen false accusations leveled against a client in some form or another; fortunately, many good attorneys understand what individuals going through a crisis involving a false accusation are experiencing and are there to help and provide counsel.
A Scourge on Society
However you look at it, false accusations are tragically misguided attempts to manipulate the criminal justice system. Sadly, everyone in society loses when an individual makes a false accusation against an innocent person in order to achieve an end that few people might actually understand.
Unscrupulous individuals have been known to use false domestic violence allegations to secure custody over their children, win divorce disputes, effectively evict a partner from a home, or simply settle scores. They may be so deluded that they believe that a partner or acquaintance “deserves” to be arrested even when the other person has done nothing wrong.
The Impact of False Allegations
Indeed, false accusations negatively affect the reputations of both innocent people who have had such an accusation leveled against them and genuine victims who may not be believed in the future due to unscrupulous actors within the criminal justice system.
Unfortunately, dealing with such accusations can be enormously stressful for a falsely-accused person. Individuals may feel guilt, shame, and self-doubt over something that they have not done. They may go over events again and again in their mind and even begin to doubt their own understanding of reality. (This process is called “gas-lighting” and is often used by false accusers to control the emotions of people around them.) Because there are often no witnesses to the supposed “crime,” moreover, accusations may end up simply descending into “he said, she said” arguments where accused individuals cannot provide proof of their innocence.
Overcoming False Accusations
Individuals who have been falsely accused of domestic violence may also be deeply affected socially and find even close friends questioning their honest version of events. They may be prevented from living in their own home or have difficulty maintaining a job.
Moreover, a person making a false accusation may be incredibly convincing with their story when discussing their case with police officers or prosecuting attorneys. Indeed, many defense lawyers have seen cases where a person making a false accusation will injure themselves in order to falsify evidence against another person.
When an Accuser is Emotionally Unstable
In cases where the person making the accusation has Borderline Personality Disorder or a similar condition they may lash out at others simply to mete out arbitrary punishment for perceived slights. Such a person will likely experience no remorse for ruining a person’s reputation and wasting the time of police and court officers.
It is imperative for these reasons for individuals who have been falsely accused of domestic violence seek out legal representation. Many attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by accusers to discredit partners or spouses and can significantly help clients with their cases.
What Attorneys Can Do to Help
Every false domestic violence case will be different, and attorneys will need to weigh each client’s options to find a strategy forward. Because every case has its own variables, in other words, there is no one systematic approach to dealing with false accusations and arrests.
One important step following any arrest over a false accusation of domestic violence is to gather all evidence for a defense as quickly as possible. The longer a person waits to gather materials that will exonerate them the more they will be at a disadvantage in court at a later date. In the legal world, time is always of the essence; this is particularly true when it comes to exonerating evidence.
For these reasons, fighting against a wrongful arrest in a domestic violence case can be an extremely stressful and difficult process. But the right attorney can help individuals who are innocent to seek justice. It may be a difficult journey, but finding the strength to move forward in such cases is extremely important. And a trusted legal advisor can help you do just that.
At the Spodek Law Group, we take the representation of the accused seriously. We want to help you understand the New York laws and rules regarding federal, state, and local prosecutable crimes. While it may seem that crimes require a victim to be able to testify against you, this is not the case. Many cases can be prosecuted without a victim (or a victim’s remains in more serious cases).
Rely on Our Diligence – How New York Defines Domestic Violence Crimes
If you hire our legal team, we will research appropriate statutes and case law and help you negotiate the best possible outcome for your case. If you currently hold a professional license in fields such as law, medicine, teaching, or finance, a conviction could have far-reaching consequences for your career. If you are an immigrant, whether documented or undocumented, many crimes like these could lead to your arrest and deportation and/or hurt your application for residency or citizenship. It’s important to take time to find qualified legal representation and have this person on your side when you receive your day in court.
Reference the Legal Definitions Here:
The New York Social Services Law 459-a contains definitions regarding domestic violence, including who qualifies as a victim in these kinds of cases.
Definition of Victim:
In order to be a “victim of domestic violence,” you must be a person who is over age 16, or any married person, or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in certain situations. Crimes that could be associated with victims in this area of the law include:
+ Disorderly conduct
+ Aggravated harassment
+ Sexual misconduct
+ Forcible touching
+ Sexual abuse
+ Criminal mischief
+ Reckless endangerment
+ Assault and attempted assault
+ Attempted murder
+ Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, or strangulation
Definition of Family Member:
This is a broad definition including people who are related by blood or marriage, who have ever lived together for a period of time even if not related or not necessarily ever in an intimate relationship, who have been involved in an intimate relationship, who have ever had a child or children in common.
Definition of Residential Program for Victims of Domestic Violence:
A certified program where people live under the care of a non-profit organization and get emergency shelter and services as victims.
Definition of Domestic Violence Shelters:
A residential care facility that exclusively cares for victims and their minor children because they were victims of domestic violence.
Definition of Parent:
This is an adoptive or biological parent or an adult who is lawfully responsible for the care of a minor child or who has custody of a minor child.
Definition of Safe Home Network:
This is any network of private homes where victims and their minor children are sheltered. The network is operated under the supervision of a non-profit organization.
Definition of Non-Residential Program for Victims of Domestic Violence:
This is any program operated by a non-profit organization that services the victims of domestic violence, but they don’t actually live there. Services could include information, referrals, advocacy, counseling, education, outreach, and hotline services. These programs must serve a population comprised of at least 70 percent adults and their minor children who were victims of domestic violence.
Take Domestic Violence Cases Seriously
Being accused of any crime that qualifies as a domestic violence offense and has threatened a person or persons who are considered to be related to you through blood, affinity, living arrangement, marriage, or having children in common is a serious matter. It’s important to take your charge seriously if it falls in any of the categories listed above and was connected to a domestic violence charge. If you are convicted, this court finding could affect where you can legally live and work in the U.S. Furthermore, a conviction may affect your ability to see your own children and partner or spouse when you completely fulfill the terms of any sentence dispensed to you by the court.
Take it from our legal team which has defended many accused individuals over the years in the New York federal and state courts. Your future is not worth letting this charge be resolved by a public defender. Get a legal consultation and determine if the Spodek Law Group is the right criminal defense firm to represent your case!