Domestic abuse is a serious crime in MA, and nationwide. And for good reason. Nobody should suffer physical or emotional abuse at the hands of a loved one. When men and women are being harmed by a spouse or intimate partner, they should be able to end the abuse and seek justice. All too often, however, allegations of domestic violence are motivated by something other than actual abuse. Jealousy, revenge, and child custody disputes are often at the core of false accusations of domestic abuse. If you have been falsely accused, what do you do?
What to Do if Falsely Accused
Your actions following a false accusation of domestic abuse are of extreme importance. For starters, don’t lash out at your accuser; it’s important to remain calm and level headed. The tips below will help you avoid making a wrong move in these crucial moments:
- Do not contact your accuser.
- Consult with a Boston defense attorney experienced in domestic abuse cases.
- Identify what may have caused the false accusation – jealousy, child custody, other legal proceedings?
- Secure your valuable possessions. It is common for false accusers to take valuable items, knowing you won’t be able to retrieve them for an extended period of time, if ever.
- Change passwords, bank accounts, pin numbers, and any login information. If your ex has access to any of the above, it can be stolen and / or used against you.
If your partner or ex is displaying erratic behavior but hasn’t yet accused you of domestic abuse, it may be in your best interest to share your concerns with family members and friends. They are less likely to turn against you if you shared the warning signs before any accusations were made.
False allegations of domestic abuse can ruin a person’s life. In addition to harming personal relationships with friends and family, a domestic abuse charge can have a negative impact on your career, child custody arrangements, adoption proceedings, and countless other aspects of your life. If convicted, you may find yourself behind bars for years. Even those who are eventually proven innocent may have a difficult time recovering from the stigma associated with domestic abuse. This is why it is so important to remain calm, be as prepared as possible, and hire a highly-skilled MA domestic abuse defense attorney to help you navigate this complex and emotional process.
Penalties for a Domestic Abuse Conviction in MA
If you are convicted, the penalties for domestic abuse are severe. As with any crime, the punishment is largely dependent on prior criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your case. Further, there are many types of domestic abuse-related crimes, from assault to stalking. If you have been charged with domestic abuse, you may be facing the following penalties:
- Violating a protective order: Fine of up to $5,000 and up to two-and-a-half years in jail.
- Assault and battery: Fine of up to $1,000 and up to two-and-a-half years in jail.
- Assault and battery, when a protective order exists: Fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
- Stalking: Fine of up to $1,000 and up to two-and-a-half years in jail. Second and subsequent stalking convictions are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Domestic Abuse Defense Law Firm
If you have been falsely accused of domestic abuse or any other crime, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses for more than 50 years. False accusations can be emotionally devastating, but it’s crucial to keep calm and obtain experienced legal counsel without delay. Our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience dealing with false accusations, and we have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. Don’t go through this difficult time alone, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.