When a person is falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse & neglect, drug & alcohol abuse, or sexual assault (against a partner or child) – the impact on the target’s life is severe and endures for a very, very long time. Obviously, some situations are worse than others… but all are a common part of highly contested divorce & custody battles. Even if you are successful in defending yourself against such accusations – the life-affecting results are devastating.
When accused of such things, particularly when it comes to the violence and sexual abuse related issues, you have to be prepared to vigorously defend yourself. YOU MUST ACT IMMEDIATELY! Every second wasted is a second lost. This is absolutely not the time to contact the accuser and ask them “what they are thinking” or debating whether or not they have any proof, or even to ask them to stop.
You must begin to realize the significance of the trouble you are in. You must understand the consequences if you underestimate the legal ramifications should you make the wrong decisions. Unfortunately, most people go into some level of denial and because they don’t make these realizations. They confront the false accuser and/or believe that they can talk them out of doing such a “stupid” thing. Consequently, they fail to do things they need to prepare themselves and soon find they’re in much deeper legal troubles than they started with.
As an example, child abuse or child sexual abuse allegations are levied during a divorce case. You may believe that they mean little. Perhaps your attorney, based on your say-so and the fact it’s not all that provable, believes the accuser has no case. You do nothing or confront the false accuser to convince them to stop with the farce. It’s not long before you find criminal charges filed against you and you quickly find yourself in a dizzying array of negative outcomes that will commence immediately. Loss of your home, your car, your assets, your children (we’re talking about having zero access, folks), and you may find yourself sitting in a jail cell.
If you react properly to the false accusation, the eventual costs will very likely be substantially less than if things get out of hand.
Sexual abuse against a partner or child are viewed as a few of the most heinous of crimes. It will not be easy to do without excellent legal representation. Trust that there are many fine attorneys available. You must absolutely be sure that the attorney you select is one who has experience in these types of cases. Attorneys who are good at defending speeding tickets or drug arrests… who are good in custody and child support cases… who are good defending “white collar crimes” – are not going to be very good at all defending you against such accusations. A mistake choosing an attorney experienced in sexual assault cases will be your undoing.
In order to select a proper attorney for any type of situation – you should begin by checking out the lawyer you are considering hiring. Ask for the lawyer’s CV (curriculum vitae, a.k.a. resume) and determine how many cases like yours he has handled. ASK!
Some final thoughts for those who don’t know what it feels like to be accused and considered guilty before evidence is presented to the court in your favor:
- If you cannot make the unreasonably high bail, you could lose your job and your career. You may lose both and find it difficult to find employment even if you can make bail.
- If you cannot go to counseling with you wife or domestic partner because there is a restraining order you are denied the access to help for working out genuine family problems. You’re probably not allowed to live in your home, see your children, or even access bank accounts.
- Even if you decide you want therapy and are innocent of the charges, oftentimes court-sanctioned therapy demands that you, the accused, admits guilt. The concept that an accused individual might be innocent is not considered and neither is the possibility that the accuser be in need of therapeutic intervention for having falsely accused you.
- Finally, there is a gender bias in the enforcement of the law. The penal code sections do not distinguish between the accused being a man or a women. However, the vast majority of the people entrusted to enforce these laws favor a woman’s testimony, not only because of cultural bias, but because of the out-dated psychological training that the police, judges, and prosecutors receive from one school of health care professionals.
It’s no wonder false accusations are often the #1 tool used to gain the upper-hand in divorce and child-custody disputes. Visit our “issue-specific” pages for more details about preventing and/or protecting yourself from different types of allegations and other issues.