Most states, including South Dakota, take domestic violence allegations extremely seriously. Most calls in which domestic violence is suspected usually end in arrest. While strict domestic violence laws are meant to protect victims, they can also be misapplied.
Anyone can claim they have been a victim of domestic violence. Whether these claims can be proved in court is another matter altogether. And whether you did it or not, here are common mistakes you need to avoid if you have been accused of domestic violence.
Confronting your accuser
It is not unusual to confront someone if they accuse you of something you did not do in the first place. While this is natural, you absolutely shouldn’t ever consider confronting your estranged partner following an accusation of domestic violence. Here are some of the reasons why you must never confront your accuser when you stand accused of domestic violence:
- Confrontation will likely escalate the matter and may prompt your accuser to wage more accusations against you, both true or false
- Prosecutors may deem this as corroboration of your accuser’s claims
Remember that anything you say or do when facing criminal charges can be used against you at trial.
Disregarding any existing court orders
Most often, victims of domestic violence will be granted a protective order. If there is a restraining order against you, you must adhere to its stipulations. The protection order may direct you to keep a certain distance from your accuser’s school, place of work or home. Regardless of the stipulations, violating a protective order is a criminal offense that can result in you facing additional felony charges.
Even if the domestic violence accusations against you are false, that cannot justify a violation of a legally issued protection order. No judge will be kind to a defendant who lacks respect for court orders.
Whether you are guilty or not, the law views domestic violence as one of the most serious crimes anyone can ever commit. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you must know the do’s and don’ts that can help or hurt your case.