Domestic violence is a very serious charge. It can carry a prison sentence and have other lifelong consequences, including a restraining order, the inability to see your children and the inability to get certain jobs as a result of your criminal record. While domestic violence is a serious crime and the penalties are warranted, innocent people may also be punished under erroneous domestic violence charges. If you believe you have been unfairly charged with domestic violence, it is essential you take proper steps to prove your innocence.
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Cooperate with the police or court. If you are accused of domestic violence, you may be afraid and not want to answer questions or go to court. However, the best thing to do is to be fully and completely honest and cooperative and tell your side of the story. If you do not show up in court your accuser will win by default, and if you don't cooperate with the police they may have reason to suspect you are guilty.
Remain calm during the entire proceedings. You are trying to demonstrate that you are not a person susceptible to domestic violence. Losing your temper, although it may seem easy to do in the face of charges you believe are unjust, can only hurt your case.
Call witnesses on your behalf. You will want to find anyone who knows you and who would be in a position to know if you had committed domestic violence and ask them to speak on your behalf. Witnesses can include neighbours who might have heard shoutin or the lack thereof, your accuser's doctor or family members, or other people who would have been in a position to suspect domestic violence, and anyone else who can testify to your character from an ex-significant other to your co-workers, pastor or priest. If witnesses don't want to cooperate, you can subpoena them to come and speak on your behalf in court.
Present counter-evidence. This can be evidence that suggests your accuser is not telling the truth, from documentation from a doctor or other health professional to character witnesses who can testify to the instability of your accuser. Ultimately, defending yourself against these charges comes down to your word against your accuser's, and you can defend yourself successfully both by presenting your side and casting doubt on the opposing side.
Hire a lawyer. While you are innocent and may feel you should not need a lawyer, you may very well need one to provide you with legal advice and help you to take the appropriate steps to prove your innocence. This is especially true if you are called to court on domestic violence charges and not merely suspected or questioned by the police.
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