You’ll most definitely be angry, frustrated, and hurt if you’re falsely accused of domestic violence, especially when the first you know of the allegations is getting served with an order of protection and notice to appear in court. Unfortunately, under New York’s statute on civil domestic violence proceedings does allow an accuser to obtain this type of relief without you being present. Of course, domestic violence is also a crime, so your case could proceed through the criminal process if you were arrested at the time of an incident. The stakes are even higher when the accusations have no factual basis.
Whether the matter involves civil or criminal domestic violence, the implications can be severe for your life. As such, you should make it a priority to consult with a New York domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. You can also benefit your situation by following a few dos and don’ts.
DO Strictly Follow the Terms of an Order of Protection: When you receive the paperwork in a civil domestic violence case, review it carefully to see what types of conduct are prohibited. Generally, you can expect that you must refrain from contacting the accuser, being within a certain distance of that person’s home or work, and other acts. Your strict compliance with the terms is absolutely crucial, as it’s a criminal act under New York State law to violate an order of protection. You could face up to seven years in prison if convicted. Plus, your misconduct reflects poorly in the civil domestic violence proceeding.
DON’T Make Any Statements to Police: If you’re arrested on the spot for engaging in Domestic Violence Acts under New York criminal laws, keep in mind your constitutional rights. You shouldn’t say anything to the arresting officers or answer questions, other than to say that you want to contact your defense attorney right away.
DO Look Into Options for Housing: Since the order of protection may require you to stay a certain distance from your accuser, you may need to find a place to live while the proceedings are pending. Talk to your lawyer about making the arrangements to pick up your personal belongings, so you can avoid a confrontation and won’t be in violation of the protective order.
DON’T Air Your Grievances on Social Media: Despite your frustration and desire to clear the air after being falsely accused of domestic violence, never express these thoughts on social media. In most cases, you’re only fanning the flames. Plus, if you’re facing criminal domestic violence charges, you could make statements that could be used against you in court.
DO Show Up for the Scheduled Court Appearance: In a civil domestic violence case, the paperwork you receive from the court will include details regarding the next court hearing. It’s critical that you attend, along with your lawyer. Recall that you didn’t receive notice of the first court appearance, during which your accuser was the only one present to make allegations against you. You’ll finally have the opportunity to explain your side of things and set the record straight, so make every effort to be there.
DON’T Delay: Retain a New York Domestic Violence Attorney Right Away
The most important tip on how to handle false allegations of domestic violence is to get in touch with legal counsel asap to advocate on your behalf. A civil case could impact your personal freedoms, while a criminal matter could lead to serious penalties. You’re entitled to your day in court, so make our lawyers at The Mandel Law Firm are at your side when that time comes. To set up a consultation, please contact our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or visit our website.