How To Defend Yourself Against A Domestic Violence Accusation

When you are falsely accused of domestic violence, the event can disrupt your life. This can especially be a problem if you live with the plaintiff and if you have children with the plaintiff. To get through this, you will need to know what to expect when accused of domestic assault and how to respond.

The Temporary Restraining Order

One of the first parts of a domestic violence case is a temporary restraining order. The plaintiff is able to request a hearing without notifying the defendant. During the hearing, the defendant is allowed to testify or bring other evidence of domestic abuse. When the court finds enough evidence, they may ask for a court hearing and not notify you. Then, a police officer or sheriff must serve the restraining order to you. The temporary restraining order typically expires within 10 days. Obtaining a longer restraining order is more difficult.

The Permanent Restraining Order

To acquire a permanent restraining order, the plaintiff will need to provide evidence of domestic violence by filling out a Confidential Victim Information Sheet and a Victim Information Sheet. One of several acts must have been performed to file a domestic violence case. These include criminal trespassing, assault, homicide, criminal sexual contact, sexual assault, stalking, burglary, harassment, and criminal mischief. Therefore, you may have domestic violence charges dropped if you are able to prove that none of these occurred. 

The defendant must fall under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. This includes spouses, former spouses, household members, those who are dating, and those who have a child or will be having a child together. 

Self-Defense as a Defense

If you performed one of the crimes committed, you may claim that your safety was in danger. You may have engaged in domestic assault as an act of self-defense. You may have engaged in trespassing in some extreme situations to get out of a dangerous situation. Or, you could argue that you were invited onto the property that you were later accused of trespassing on.

Other Defenses for Domestic Violence Accusations

Another approach is to argue that the action was too minor to be considered a criminal offense. For example, if you accidentally bumped into the defendant and the defendant suffered very minor injuries, this may be used to argue that the charges should be dropped. Regardless, you should speak with a domestic violence attorney who can help you craft a defense.