Is Lying About Domestic Violence A Criminal Offense?
It’s hard to believe that people could lie about something as serious as domestic violence. Unfortunately, it does happen. To make a potentially life-ruining allegation against someone shouldn’t be taken lightly; let’s discuss what happens when someone lies about domestic violence.
What Motivates People To Lie?
There are numerous reasons why someone may make a false domestic violence allegation. The most common reason, however, is to hurt child custody rights. Whenever possible, the courts favor joint custody so that the children can have a relationship with both parents. However, sole custody is granted if there is any inclination that the children would be unsafe with one parent. In a contentious divorce, one spouse may lie about domestic violence to try and get sole custody of the children.
False allegations can also be revenge-motivated. After a messy breakup, one ex might accuse the other of abuse as an attempt to get them in legal trouble or slander their reputation.
Accusations of domestic violence are always taken seriously. Unfortunately, those who choose to make false allegations know this, and know how difficult it is to prove you’re innocent once accused.
Consequences of Lying
You may be wondering, if the allegations are proven to be false, are the accusers punished for lying?
Technically, filing a false police report and lying in court are criminal offenses. These are both examples of perjury. Perjury is defined as intentionally telling lies, either spoken or in writing, during an official proceeding. It is considered a crime against justice.
It is rare that the courts will prosecute those who have lied about domestic violence. However, if they do, the individual who made the false allegations can face penalties such as:
- Jail time
Even if the person who initially made the accusation has regrets and wants to drop the charges, it is out of their hands. Once a domestic violence arrest is made, the prosecutors are the only ones who can decide to drop charges.
Daytona Beach Domestic Violence Attorneys
When you’re facing false allegations of domestic violence, there is a lot at stake. Not only are you facing criminal penalties, but this accusation can affect your family relationships, career, and reputation. Once you have been falsely accused, the first thing you should do is contact a defense attorney. Our team at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. will aggressively fight to prove your innocence. Call us today at (386) 693-1637 to share the details of your case in a confidential consultation.