False Accusations of Domestic Violence
Allegations of domestic violence must always be taken very seriously. Unfortunately, some men and women choose to wield false accusations of domestic violence like a weapon. They go to the authorities with fake or exaggerated information due to anger, resentment, or jealousy. It may also be a calculated move to impact divorce or child custody proceedings.
When you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, you need to immediately contact a Pittsburgh domestic violence lawyer. You will need to take steps to immediately gather evidence regarding your conduct and reputation. You will need to fight the accusations on multiple fronts in family court. Our experienced attorneys at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC will aggressively defend you against these false accusations and fight for an outcome that clears your name.
Call us today at (412) 471-5100to schedule an initial, free case consultation.
Defending Your Reputation and Rights in Family Court
When false accusations of domestic violence are brought up in family court, they can do a great deal of damage. If your spouse or your child’s other parent accuses you of verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, call us immediately.
Addressing allegations of domestic violence in family court is a different matter than defending against a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) or criminal charge. A finding against you will have a profound impact on your family. You could be seen as the “bad guy” and receive less in the divorce settlement. You could lose out on a majority or equal custody of your child, or even be subjected to supervised visitation.
When this occurs, let us help you re-establish your reputation. We will offer up a variety of evidence, including character references, to show the judge you are not a violent person and that you are a good and stable parent. We will focus on your current and future relationship with your child, who will no doubt benefit from having healthy relationships with both parents.
We may also gather evidence of your accuser’s ill intent, such as if they are attempting to influence the case or get you in trouble out of anger, resentment, or jealousy. There may be a variety of evidence, such as communications between you and your accuser, that prove or support that they are lying.
If these false allegations have arisen due to the other individual’s mental health issues, then we may petition the court to require the other person to be evaluated by a certified and appropriate mental health professional. If it is established that they are suffering from a medical condition, this may support our stance that the allegations are untrue.
Defending Against a Restraining Order
In Pennsylvania, a restraining or protection order is known as a PFA Order. When individuals make false accusations of domestic violence, one of the first steps they usually take is to petition the court to grant them a PFA. The initial hearing must be held in 10 days of the petition being filed. The law does not require that you be at this hearing to defend yourself. In fact, most initial hearings occur without the individual who has been accused. The judge will review your accuser’s information and may sign a temporary PFA order, which you are then notified of.
Having a PFA ordered against you without your ability to attend the hearing can have a significant impact on your life, particularly if you are in the midst of a divorce or child custody battle. If your spouse or parent of your child obtains a PFA against you, it could limit your ability to see your child, and make it extremely difficult to maintain a co-parenting agreement. If you are worried about how a PFA could affect your ability to see your child, then you should consult a Pittsburgh custody lawyer.
Once you are notified of a PFA hearing against you, call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC immediately. You may not be able to attend the first hearing, but you will have plenty of notice to attend the next hearing regarding a permanent PFA. Even if a temporary order is signed against you, there is still the possibility of having a permanent PFA denied. Our attorneys can represent you in court and counter your accuser’s statements.
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges
False accusations of domestic violence can lead to criminal charges. Under Pennsylvania law, domestic violence involves knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causing another person bodily injury, causing them to fear bodily injury, or knowingly engaging in repetitive behavior toward a person that makes them fear bodily injury. If you are accused of domestic violence, you will be charged with the underlying violent or sexual offense. Whether you face a misdemeanor or felony depends on the allegations and your criminal history. This encompasses a wide range of behavior from stalking to rape. Common domestic violence charges result from alleged assaults and batteries. The fact that the crime falls under the category of domestic violence means you may face additional penalties.
Domestic violence charges can significantly affect an on-going divorce or child custody dispute. The best way to ensure a fair outcome to your family law matter is to aggressively defend yourself against the criminal charges. You may need to address the issue in your family matter at the same time, such as by establishing your reputation and traits as a parent. At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC, we will work closely with your criminal defense attorney to ensure these allegations are aggressively fought in corresponding civil and criminal cases.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Lawyers for Help
Our experienced attorneys at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC will discuss a number of ways to address false accusations of domestic violence during the divorce process or child custody case. There are a number of steps you should take during this time to avoid any further misunderstandings or allegations. You must protect yourself. At the same time, we will gather evidence to establish the truth in court.
This will be a difficult time for you and your children. Remaining calm and patient throughout the experience will be a challenge. However, with us by your side, you can be confident that everything possible is being done to prove the truth and obtain the best outcome in our situation.