Courts in Florida and throughout the country have to take allegations of domestic abuse seriously. If they don’t, there is a chance that future victims won’t have any method of holding their abusers accountable for their actions. Each year, it is estimated that 700,000 Americans are falsely accused of harming their spouses, children or other family members. It isn’t uncommon for allegations of abuse to be made during divorce or child custody proceedings.
Those who are accused of domestic violence may experience significant disruptions to their lives until they are able to clear their names. In many cases, a defendant will spend at least one night in jail and be subject to a temporary restraining order. This may be true even in cases that don’t involve physical violence. In 32 states, individuals can ask for restraining orders simply because they are in fear of being physically or emotionally harmed.
Individuals who believe that they have been falsely accused of domestic abuse should take steps to defend themselves. For example, it is a good idea to gather text messages or emails received from a plaintiff. Defendants are also encouraged to seek out witnesses who can verify that they are being wrongfully accused of a crime. Finally, defendants generally have a better chance of obtaining favorable outcomes in their cases by remaining calm and composed during court appearances.
Legal representatives may be able to assist those who are being accused of domestic violence from a spouse or another family member. An attorney may be able to use text messages, letters or other evidence to establish that a defendant did not engage in physically or emotionally abusive behavior. Character witnesses may also be asked to testify during a court hearing in an attempt to bolster a defendant’s credibility.