Knowing what to do if you were falsely accused of domestic violence in Florida can mean the difference between facing jail time or planning for a happy, free future. If another person has falsely accused you of domestic violence, make sure you do the following:
- Stay calm.
- Contact a St. Petersburg domestic violence attorney.
- Avoid contact with your accuser.
- Only speak to officers or the prosecution with your lawyer present.
- Discuss your case with your lawyer and determine the best defense route.
1) Stay Calm.
This can be the most difficult thing to do, but it is one of the most important. Make sure you remain calm throughout the process. If you react with anger or aggression, it does not make you look innocent and it can give the prosecution more ammunition for your case.
2) Contact a Domestic Violence Lawyer Immediately.
Upon conviction for domestic violence in Florida, you may spend years in prison — possibly even decades if you have any prior convictions or adjudications. Domestic violence convictions also carry harsh probation requirements and you cannot seal or expunge your record of this crime.
Because domestic violence is prevalent in our state — and because of how devastating this crime can be — law enforcement agencies assume that every report is accurate. In almost every situation, law enforcement will take your accuser’s word over yours. This can lead to wrongful arrests and misunderstandings.
And, in most cases, even if your accuser wants to drop the charges immediately, the prosecutor will still proceed with your case.
These are just a few of the reasons why you need contact a criminal defense lawyer from Goldman Wetzel immediately if falsely accused of domestic violence. Because the risks are so high, you need someone to stand up for you, protect your legal rights, and work hard to prove your innocence.
3) Avoid All Contact With Your Accuser.
Under Florida law, your accuser may be a spouse, former spouse, relation by blood or marriage, a current or former live-in partner, or someone with whom you share a child.
After an alleged incident of domestic violence, the judge will likely enter a no-contact order that prohibits you from communicating with or going near your accuser.
This may present a difficult situation, especially if they live in a house that you own. Nevertheless, it is necessary until the conclusion of your criminal case. Do not respond if your accuser contacts you (even if she wants to drop the charges), and alert your domestic violence attorney immediately.
4) Never Answer Questions Without Your Goldman Wetzel Lawyer Present.
When falsely accused, people often believe that they have nothing to hide. Consequently, they may answer all questions for police detectives or try to represent themselves at criminal hearings.
Even when you are innocent, the prosecutor can take anything you say and twist it to implicate you.
We can represent you in court, and enter a plea on your behalf. During questioning, we will ensure that you do not answer any questions that may prove harmful to your case.
5) Decide With Your Lawyer How Best to Respond to the Charges.
Accusations of domestic violence, even when false, require that you endure the criminal process of arraignments, charges, and potentially going to trial to defend yourself.
If you involve us immediately after your arrest, we can get to work exploring the evidence against you and potentially persuading the prosecution to forgo pressing charges at all.
Depending on the evidence against you, we might need to take your case to trial and defend your innocence in court.
Either way, ensure the protection of your legal rights and work for the best possible outcome of your case by hiring a domestic violence lawyer.
Call Goldman Wetzel Today.
At Goldman Wetzel, we are committed to proving your innocence against false accusations. And because we work together on each case we take on, you get the benefit of two different minds working to ensure the best outcome in your case.
Contact us today at 727-828-3900 to speak with a domestic violence lawyer in St. Petersburg.