What Happens if My Spouse Accuses Me of Domestic Violence? | Attorney, Wichita
While false accusations may catch you by surprise, becoming difficult to process or understand yourself, it’s important that you take prompt action if accused of domestic violence. Despite your initial impulse to contact the accuser and discuss the nature of the accusations, it’s in your best interest to avoid contact until you can consult with an attorney. Our domestic violence attorneys in Wichita, Kansas, at the McConnell Law Firm, are detailing how you should proceed after being accused. Keep reading to learn more!
When accused of domestic violence, it’s essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of both parties involved. Immediately ceasing contact with your spouse is crucial to comply with potential legal orders and prevent further escalation of the situation. While you may feel inclined to defend yourself to your accuser, restraining yourself from any form of communication, whether in person, via phone, or through a third party, is the most responsible first step and may affect how the rest of your case unfolds.
Comply With Protection Orders
In many cases, when domestic violence accusations are made, the court may issue protection orders or no contact orders. Protection orders typically outline specific actions you must refrain from, such as contacting the accuser, approaching their residence or workplace, or attempting any form of intimidation. Comply with any such legal directives, as failure to adhere to these orders can result in serious legal consequences.
“When domestic violence accusations are made, there will likely be an arrest, followed by potential jail time, and the issuance of no-contact orders for the duration the case is pending unless otherwise set for a specific period,” said Erica Ramstad Whitsell, a domestic violence attorney at the McConnell Law Firm. “During this time, you may not be able to live at your place of residence or frequent your regular spots. This can be difficult for obvious reasons, but you must abide by the no-contact order, or you risk harming your case.”
Consult With an Attorney
Don’t try to fight false accusations alone; contact an experienced domestic violence attorney as soon as an allegation is made. Even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong and don’t need legal assistance, the biggest and potentially most life-altering mistake you can make is not partnering with a defense attorney. Your attorney will provide valuable insights into the legal processes and potential consequences while helping you understand your rights, build a solid defense, and navigate court proceedings.
Can You File a Lawsuit?
Facing false accusations can be emotionally distressing and damaging to your reputation. In some cases, individuals wrongly accused may wonder if they can file a lawsuit against their accuser for defamation. While laws vary, pursuing a defamation lawsuit can be challenging due to the legal concept of immunity, which protects individuals who report suspected abuse in good faith. However, some jurisdictions may allow for legal action against the accuser if the accusations are proven maliciously false. Consulting with your attorney will help you understand the legal options available in your specific situation.
“While yes, there are certain civil remedies you can take to address false allegations, we as attorneys don’t see it happen very often due to how difficult it is to pursue,” said Whitsell. “Most of the time, allegations occur in ‘he-said-she-said’ situations. Because of this, it’s important individuals think first before making allegations out of anger or impulse. Once a criminal charge is filed, an accuser may be able to revoke their claims, but the charges don’t just disappear; it’s at the prosecutor’s discretion whether or not they pursue the case.”
Have You Been Accused?
If you have been accused of domestic violence, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting one of our domestic violence attorneys in Wichita about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.
Request a Free Consultation
Do you or a loved one need the assistance of an expert criminal defense attorney in Wichita? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.Contact Us
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