In Texas, domestic assault is defined as an attack on a family member, a member of your household who isn’t related, or a person with whom you have a child. Domestic violence is a serious problem and all claims should be taken seriously. If you’re being falsely accused though, what should you do?
Here are some helpful steps you can take and things to consider if you find yourself or a loved one in a similar situation.
Hire a Lawyer
The best thing you can do for yourself when being accused of a crime you didn’t commit is hire a lawyer. A domestic defense attorney is going to know how the courts work and how to navigate the hype and media attention that follows it. While domestic abuse shouldn’t be tolerated, neither should false accusations and the consequences that often follow.
The criminal justice system is confusing and intimidating, especially if you’ve never been involved with it before. That is why hiring a great domestic defense attorney is the first thing you should do.
Be Proactive and Careful
Don’t ignore this accusation. That will not make it go away and can often be interrupted as a confession of guilt. Aside from hiring an attorney, there are three things you can do to help yourself if circumstances allow.
First, don’t allow yourself to be put in any compromising situations. If the person who is falsely accusing you calls, visits, or tries to meet with you, keep a record of it all. Have someone with you, if possible, and record any interactions if you are alone. In Texas, it is legal to record your own conversations without the other person knowing. If you get offensive, disrespectful, or informative emails or texts, don’t delete them and show them to your attorney.
Second, be careful with your actions as well. Don’t ever approach the person who made the false claims. Watch everything you put into email or text and choose your words carefully in any conversations over the phone or in person. Don’t ever go looking for trouble and always follow the advice given to you by your domestic defense attorney.
Third, stay out of the media. With the seriousness of domestic violence and the perceptions around it, people will make a judgement without ever giving you a fair shot to present your case. You don’t need to prove your point anywhere except in the courthouse. Whether your case is only presented to the judge or goes to a jury, you want those in the room to get their information there first, rather than from a news report. This helps keep the North Texas jury pool unbiased and prevents from a reporter twisting your words or presenting a bad story.
Don’t Give Up Hope
Things always look bad at first and you might not see how you can fight against false accusations, especially if people believe them. Hiring a great domestic defensive attorney can bring you a lot of hope. Let them do their job and follow their advice on things you should do, things you should not do, and even ways to dress in court. They know exactly how the process works and can work to gather evidence that contradicts false reports. It’s good to know you have someone on your side.