Understanding the toll of false domestic violence accusations
In a heated divorce or during an argument, people can become very angry. Some people respond with real or threatened violence; others respond by falsely accusing someone of being violent. These false accusations may seem harmless – after all, no one is really hurt.
However, false allegations can take a tremendous toll on those targeted by accusations.
The legal toll
When someone calls 911 or files a complaint accusing someone else of violence, the police will make an arrest if they have probable cause or reasonable suspicion. This person is then at risk of a wrongful conviction.
Further, in addition to possible incarceration, an assault charge can saddle a person with a criminal record; it can lead to escalated or enhanced charges in the future; it can show up in background checks.
The personal toll
Allegations involving violence can be embarrassing, and they can damage a person’s reputation and relationships. He or she could lose family connections and parenting rights. It could also become challenging to maintain intimate partnerships.
The emotional toll
False accusations can be difficult to overcome in the emotional sense, as well. People can have a great deal of stress and anxiety, particularly when their freedom or family is in jeopardy. Many people often struggle with helplessness, depression and anger.
And even if there is no conviction, wrongfully accused people can have difficulties in future relationships and experience mental health issues that linger on long after the case closes.
The financial toll
Allegations of a violent offense can lead to jail or prison time. Spending any amount of time behind bars can result in job loss, and a person could be responsible for fines and legal fees. Further, a person may have to relocate to comply with protective orders, which can be an enormous expense.
Defending against false allegations
If someone is wrongfully accusing you of domestic violence, it is crucial that you defend yourself. Doing so successfully can protect your record, reputation and well-being. It can also minimize any adverse effects the wrongful allegations could have on your current and future relationships, so it is critical to take these situations seriously.