In Texas, a family violence accusation can have substantial effects on your life. If you're convicted, you could face imprisonment and/or fines. Additionally, the alleged victim can take out a restraining order against you, which can place limitations on where you can go and who you can contact. Because of this, it can be extremely frustrating to be arrested for or charged with domestic violence. This is especially true when action is taken against you based on false allegations. So what should you do if you're falsely accused of a family violence offense?
What Actions to Take
If you're accused of family violence, one of the first things you should do is invoke your right to remain silent. Whether an officer has taken you into custody or not, politely decline to answer any questions or provide any statements about the alleged offense. Although law enforcement officials are only required to read your Miranda rights after you have been arrested, legally, you can stay quiet at any point in the process.
The next important step if facing a false accusation is to retain legal representation. This should be done as soon as possible. Even if you haven't been arrested or formally charged for the crime, it's a good idea to speak with an attorney about your circumstances. They can advise you on what to and what not to say.
If you've gathered any evidence or have witness statements that counter the claims made against you, give them and any other information about the incident to your lawyer.
What Actions Not to Take
Being falsely accused of domestic violence can be upsetting. You might feel angry that your reputation has been or might be tarnished, and you might think about trying to prove your innocence.
Unfortunately, if you say anything to either the police or the alleged victim to clear your name, your statements can be used against you in court. Only discuss your case with your attorney.
Staying silent about your case goes for actually talking to others about it as well as writing about it online. Today, we can communicate with many different people at once by posting on social media accounts. Unfortunately, posting your side of the story can also be used as evidence of your guilt. Therefore, it's best to stay off social media.
During negotiations with the prosecutor or at trial is when you will have the chance to challenge the accusations made against you. Your lawyer will develop a compelling defense for your case and show where weaknesses in the allegations exist. Although it might be frustrating to wait for a resolution, allowing your case to go through the criminal justice system (as opposed to proclaiming your innocence outside of it) may result in a more favorable outcome.
If you've been accused of a family violence offense in Dallas, reach out to our team at Hamilton Grant PC. We are experienced at handling complex criminal matters and will stand up for you throughout your case. Call us at (214) 225-7117 or contact us online today.