Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Attorneys
How to Defend Yourself from False Domestic Violence Allegations

How to Defend Yourself from False Domestic Violence Allegations

According to one study on joint parenting, as many as 1 in 4 divorces involve a domestic violence allegation. That's 25 percent of all divorces involving accusations that could end your ability to parent your children, kick you out of your home, and prevent you from living your life the way you ought to live it—all without a single trial. Domestic violence allegations and the issuance of restraining orders were once ways of protecting abused spouses from retaliation, but now, some legal experts say they're a litigation tactic.

The former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Elaine Epstein, once said, "Everyone knows that restraining orders...are granted to virtually all who apply....In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage." More than half of all states don't even require physical violence in civil domestic violence allegations; many of them only require "fear" or "emotional distress," which have no evidence.

Nearly every state in the United States requires judges to consider allegations of abuse before awarding child custody, but because allegations are easy to make without any need for proof, that robs many parents of their rightful place in their children's lives. In some cases, it results in criminal charges.

Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

Criminal domestic violence allegations abide by the same standards of evidence as other crimes—you're innocent until proven guilty, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, etc.—so the result of your civil domestic violence case may not have any bearing on your criminal case.

These are the most common ways lawyers protect their clients from criminal domestic violence charges:

"My Client Didn't Do It"

This is a straightforward defense that rests on proving that you were unable to commit domestic violence. This could mean establishing that you were somewhere else at the time; strong alibis could include security footage, eyewitness testimony, or audio recordings.

"The Accuser Is Lying"

This defense would address inconsistencies in your accuser's story; your attorney may look for ways that the accuser's injuries don't match up with their account of the attack, or could question parts of the story that have no proof or evidence behind them.

"It Was an Accident"

In this defense, your attorney would not deny that you were the cause of injury; instead, they'd argue that your intent was innocent. Unintentional injury is not a crime, and your attorney could build a case that the injuries you're accused of causing were accidental.

"My Client Acted in Self-Defense"

This defense will require your attorney to examine the police report for any admission that the alleged victim resorted to violence and why. Your attorney could also see if the injuries you're accused of causing are defensive in nature.

"My Client Was the Victim of Police Misconduct"

This defense has nothing to do with your accuser and solely involves the way the police handled your case. For instance, if the police failed to read your rights during your interrogation, failed to record the interrogation, or denied you access to a lawyer while they questioned you, then your testimony would be considered invalid. Additionally, if your attorney can prove that there was no probable cause to search or question you, then your case may be dismissed by the court.

It's vital that, while your attorney is preparing your case, that you abide by the rules of your restraining order. Making contact with your accuser during a criminal investigation is almost guaranteed to make your situation worse; if there's a pending civil case as well (i.e. a divorce), that will also end poorly if you violate a restraining order.

Our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense attorneys have handled thousands of criminal cases, helping our clients protect themselves from prosecution, prison time, and heavy fines. If you have questions about your particular case, speak with us in a free consultation: (954) 543-1788.

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Our Victories

  • Domestic Violence
    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser went to trial and were able to show during cross-examination that the alleged victim was the aggressor and that the client acted in self-defense. The jury returned a not guilty verdict almost immediately following trial.
  • Domestic Violence With 911 Call and Pictures
    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser took the case to trial after fleshing out inconsistencies in the alleged victim's account. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty and the client's unblemished record was preserved.
  • False Arrest

    Outcome: Attorney Glasser was able to show with video footage that his client did not commit the alleged offense and furthermore, the police officer who ordered his arrest was negligent in his investigation and improperly supervised.

    Read more about this story on the Sun Sentinel.

  • Probation Only Federal Conspiracy to Commit Mail & Wire Fraud

    Outcome: Through compelling sentencing memorandum and passionate oral argument, Rudenberg & Glasser were able to convince the federal court judge to sentence their client to treatment for substance abuse, and no incarceration, even though the client had a lengthy criminal history and the Government was seeking prison time.

  • Not Guilty, Acquitted at Trial Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon

    Outcome: Client was alleged to have used his vehicle to strike victim, and there was video of the incident which could have been interpreted to actually show the crime. The state was offering significant prison time before trial. By meticulous planning and strategic cross-examination to expose the motives and fabrications by the alleged victim, and an eyewitness in support of the alleged victim, Rudenberg & Glasser convinced a jury to acquit the client and avoid a mandatory long prison sentence.

  • $325,000 Pre-Trial Personal Injury Police Misconduct

    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser fought long and hard to secure an unusually high $325,000 settlement for a client who was subjected to alleged excessive force by a police officer.

  • $250,000 Pre-Trial Personal Injury

    Outcome: Client was injured by a malfunctioning door, requiring stitches and leaving a scar on client's knee. There were limited medical bills and no surgeries, but through extremely challenging and successful negotiations, Rudenberg & Glasser were able to secure a settlement of $250,000.

  • Felony DUI: Client was in an Accident and Left the Scene
    Outcome: Rudenberg & Glasser filed a compelling motion to suppress evidence based on law enforcement's actions during the investigation. Rudenberg & Glasser were able to persuade the prosecutor prior to the motion to suppress hearing that the charge should be broken down from a felony to a misdemeanor and the client was offered probation instead of the previously sought prison sentence.
  • Final Injunction Hearing
    Outcome: Client desperately needed to avoid a final injunction on his record. Rudenberg & Glasser defended him at the hearing and proved that the Petitioner was not in fear for her safety. The judge dismissed the injunction.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: Resisting Police Officer Without Violence
    Outcome: Mr. Rudenberg presented evidence that the police officer’s version of events was not credible, and that accusations were made to justify excessive use of force by police officer. Jury returned a verdict of not guilty in less than five minutes.

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