Domestic abuse is a serious issue that affects many families, and it can lead to physical injuries and emotional trauma for victims and other family members. However, there are some situations where a person may be falsely accused of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. False accusations from a vindictive soon-to-be ex can lead to emotional distress and grave consequences, affecting a person’s livelihood and their personal life. The damage can be irreversible, and when these accusations lead to criminal charges, a person may be convicted, which could lead to a prison sentence, large fines, and other consequences. If you have been falsely accused, it is important to act quickly and seek the assistance of a skilled domestic violence attorney who will fight for your rights.
Think About Your Defense Strategy
In many cases, it is best to avoid contact with your accuser. This can be difficult, especially if you are in the middle of divorce proceedings and need to work out issues related to your marital property, the custody of your children, the possession of a shared residence, or other legal and financial concerns. When discussing these concerns, things can quickly escalate, leading to further accusations or other issues that could affect criminal charges related to domestic violence. If you absolutely must talk to your accuser, it is best to make sure you have your attorney or a neutral third party present. The same considerations will apply if you living together with an unmarried partner or if your accuser is a boyfriend, girlfriend, or roommate.
In the meantime, you can work with your lawyer to prove your innocence. Gather any evidence that will support your claim that the charges of domestic violence are false. This may include any of the following:
Text messages, social media posts, emails, and other communications, including video recordings that may contradict the false accusations.
Other evidence showing that the alleged abuse could not have occurred, such as videos showing that you were in another location at the time when your accuser claimed that you harmed them.
Testimony from friends and family members who can talk about your relationship with your spouse or partner.
Medical records or police reports that show no history of abuse.
Your attorney can help you file affidavits, request a hearing, or bring in expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. If you are going through a bitter divorce, the court may order a child custody evaluation to determine what would be in the child’s best interests. Make sure you cooperate and provide any information that is requested.
Responding to an Order of Protection
Your accuser may obtain an order of protection (commonly known as a restraining order) against you. If they sought an emergency order of protection, this may have been granted without giving you the chance to tell your side of the story. Even if you do not believe this to be fair, it is crucial to make sure you abide by all the terms and conditions of the order of protection. Any violation of the court’s orders can lead to additional criminal charges, and this may also play a role in the criminal case related to domestic violence charges. Violating an order of protection is typically charged as a Class 4 felony offense in Illinois, and you could also be held in contempt of court or face other consequences. To avoid this, make sure to follow all restrictions put in place by the order of protection, including refraining from contacting your accuser in any way.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
In Illinois, domestic battery is a Class A misdemeanor, and if you are convicted, you may be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined up to $2,500. However, if you have previously been convicted of domestic battery, other violent crimes, or sex crimes such as sexual assault, domestic battery will be charged as a Class 4 felony, and you could be sentenced to one to three years in prison and fined up to $25,000. Keep in mind that a conviction of this magnitude will go on your permanent criminal record, and can generally never be sealed or expunged.
Contact an Aurora Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are being falsely accused of domestic abuse, you need a skilled Kane County domestic violence charges attorney on your side right away. [[title]] understands how frustrating and overwhelming it can be to face these types of accusations or deal with a protective order that is taken out against you. We will work to protect your rights and your reputation while helping you avoid a conviction and resolve your case successfully. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.