Defending Against Domestic Violence AccusationsPosted on January 26, 2018 in Domestic Violence
The national statistics say 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. The Washington Department of Health says 40,768 domestic violence offenses were reported in 2014, making it clear that domestic violence is a significant issue around the state and country. Domestic violence is not only a problem for individual families and relationships, it is detrimental to communities and drains state and federal resources. It should be reported, prosecuted, and punished.
However, like any legal issue, there is another side. False domestic violence accusations are similarly damaging to individuals, relationships, and communities and put an unnecessary strain on the Washington legal system.
A Lack of an Offensive Touching or Injury
Washington’s domestic violence law covers any criminal offense that causes assault, physical harm, bodily injury, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault. To be charged with domestic violence, you must have assaulted someone, physically hurt them, or made them afraid of suffering an injury soon. Depending on the circumstances, a domestic violence attorney will seek to prove you did not cause the accuser any harm, you did not intentionally touch the other person with the intent to cause harm or offense, and you did not explicitly or implicit threaten the other individual.
If you neither touched the other individual nor caused an object to touch them, then this can help your case. However, keep in mind that domestic violence does not require contact between you and your accuser or a resulting injury. Without contact or an injury, we will still need to aggressively defend against these charges.
A Lack of Reasonable Fear of Injury
If the other individual was never touched or harmed and is solely relying on their claims that you caused fear of imminent harm, then we will aggressively dispute the domestic violence allegations. We may be able to show you do not have any history of violence. We may be able to prove that nothing you said or did during the incident would have made a reasonable person afraid for their safety. We may also be able to demonstrate to the judge or jury that, due to the circumstances, you could not have caused the other person imminent harm. Our domestic violence attorneys will build the defense most appropriate to your case and history.
Lack of a Necessary Relationship
To be charged with domestic violence in Washington, you must have a specific type of relationship to your accuser. Domestic violence only occurs between family members, household members, and people in romantic relationships. This includes spouses, parents, children, siblings, roommates, boyfriends, girlfriends, and potentially more. If you do not have one of these types of relationships – you are not married to your accuser, you do not live with them, and you are not dating them – then your attorney will seek to prove that you cannot be charged with domestic violence. However, this is not necessarily a complete defense. If the prosecution has evidence a crime occurred, you may still be charged with the underlying violent offense.
Call a Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Having domestic violence allegations made against you is not only intimidating, it typically causes a great deal of emotional distress. During a time in which you may be at odds with family and friends, you need a compassionate and highly-capable criminal defense attorney to guide you through Washington’s legal system. Tacoma domestic violence lawyer Morgan Fletcher Benfield is here to do just that. He will protect you rights and build you the strongest defense possible against any false accusations.