Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many families and relationships. Unfortunately, sometimes, people may make false allegations of abuse for various reasons, such as revenge, jealousy, custody disputes or financial gain.
If you are facing false accusations of domestic violence, you need to know how to protect your rights.
What is domestic violence?
According to North Carolina law, domestic violence is any act of physical harm, bodily injury, assault or fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury between people who have a personal relationship.
A personal relationship includes spouses, former spouses, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, people who live together or have lived together, people who have a child in common, current or former dating partners or people who are in a romantic relationship.
What are the consequences?
If someone accuses you of domestic violence in North Carolina, you may face serious legal consequences. The accuser can seek a Domestic Violence Protective Order, which can prohibit you from contacting them or your children, force you to leave your home, require you to pay child support or spousal support and restrict your access to firearms. A DVPO can last up to one year and can be renewed for two more years.
In addition to a DVPO, you may also face criminal charges for the alleged act of domestic violence. Depending on the type and severity of the offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
The penalties for domestic violence crimes can include jail time, fines, probation, community service, counseling, etc.
How to fight back
If you are falsely accused of domestic violence in North Carolina, you need to take immediate action to defend yourself and clear your name.
Remain calm. Do not react with anger or violence. This will only make things worse and give credibility to the accuser’s claims.
Avoid any contact with the accuser. And, cooperate with the authorities in consultation with your attorney.
Determine the motive. Try to figure out why the accuser is making false allegations against you. Is it revenge, jealousy, custody, money or something else? Knowing the motive can help you expose the accuser’s lies and ulterior motives.
Collect any evidence that can support your innocence and disprove the accuser’s claims. This can include photos, videos, texts, emails, phone records, medical records, witness statements, alibis or anything else that can show that you did not commit domestic violence or that the accuser is lying.