If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in Texas, you should do the following:
- Remain calm and do not attempt to speak with your accuser.
- Immediately invoke your right to remain silent and decline to speak about the alleged offenses.
- Consider retaining a criminal defense attorney to represent you and handle statements.
- Collect any evidence that could support your claims or refute the prosecution.
Hiring an attorney does not mean that you have anything to hide or admit some sort of guilt. However, domestic and family violence laws in Texas do not favor the accused, so having a lawyer might help you avoid conviction and losing other legal battles, like divorce or child custody cases.
Why Would Someone Make False Accusations of Domestic Violence?
Some reasons why an accuser might make false claims of domestic violence against their partner include:
- They want to win a child custody case: When parents battle over child custody, an unfortunate tactic one partner might use against the other is to make claims of domestic violence. Regardless of whether evidence exists, a judge may issue a protective order to separate the accused from the family until the police investigate these claims. This order could sway a family court judge in a custody hearing.
- They want leverage during a divorce battle: Divorces are not easy. Still, they can get even messier if one partner tries to paint the other in a negative light in hopes of getting an advantage at a hearing involving child custody rights or keeping significant assets like a home.
- They act out of jealousy, resentment, or other negative emotions: If two individuals break up on bad terms, one partner might retaliate against the rejection or split by making false claims. While a defendant may be able to refute these claims in court, they would still have to go through the criminal process of hearing their case to have the charges dropped or dismissed.
- They have mental health issues or were not of sound mind: In some cases, the accuser may think, act, or speak rationally because of their mental illness. For example, they might make false claims out of confusion while under the influence or drugs or alcohol, or during a psychotic episode.
Accusers do Not Need to Provide Evidence to Initiate a Protective Order
As mentioned, unsubstantiated claims can still trigger a protective order response from law enforcement. Texas Family Code § 85.001 requires courts to issue protective orders when family violence has occurred or when “family violence is likely to occur in the future.”
This clause gives an advantage to accusers, who can claim that their partners have behaved recklessly or violently and can commit domestic violence at any moment. A magistrate would have to issue a protective order to protect the family while law enforcement officers investigate these claims. In the meantime, this order can damage the accused’s reputation, criminal record, and even their employment.
What Should You Not Do If You Face False Accusations of Domestic Violence?
Do not attempt any of the following if you face domestic violence charges:
- Speak with your accuser to convince them to drop the charges against you. This attempt can be misinterpreted as coercion or violate protective or restraining orders in place.
- Make statements about what allegedly happened to law enforcement officers, as they can use any statements you make against you in court.
- Write anything about your case on social media. The court can consider these posts as evidence against you while reviewing your case.
If you want to discuss your case, you can do so with your domestic violence lawyer. Their duty is to represent you and present your case to prove your innocence. In addition, they can handle communications on your behalf and defend you against further accusations.
How Can a Lawyer Help You Build a Domestic Violence Defense?
Criminal defense lawyers serve as legal advocates for their clients throughout the criminal justice system. They also promote their clients’ rights and uphold them in court, so their clients receive a fair trial. Having a lawyer manage your case can be one way to ensure your side of the story gets heard.
A lawyer can provide these services for you:
- Investigating your case and collecting evidence to support your statements
- Appearing at pre-trial and trial hearings
- Negotiating a plea bargain when possible
- Asking for a dismissal of unsubstantiated charges
Many criminal defense law firms offer free initial consultations to prospective clients.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg If You’re Facing Domestic Violence Charges
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence in Texas, a critical step you can take to protect your case is to hire a criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. Our legal team works under the guidance of Randall Isenberg. He has over 30 years of experience handling legal cases and has held positions as a prosecuting attorney and state district judge.
Domestic violence charges can result in severe penalties if you’re convicted. Call our law firm today at (214) 696-9253 to see how we may be able to build your defense. We want to defend your innocence so you can move past this chapter in your life.