According to Minnesota Statute § 609.2242, someone could be charged with domestic assault if they inflict, or attempt to inflict, bodily harm or fear of bodily harm upon a member of their family or household. A person can also be charged with even more serious felony crimes if they have prior domestic-related convictions, if the allegations involve strangulation or significant bodily harm, or if the allegations involve threats to commit a crime of violence.
Why False Domestic Violence Accusations Happen
False domestic violence accusations can be made due to a variety of reasons; two common reasons are as follows:
- Someone may use false accusations of domestic violence as a way of seeking revenge.
- Someone may use false accusations of domestic violence for personal gain.
The Consequences of False Domestic Violence Accusations
Being Accused of Domestic Violence
Even if someone has not been charged with the crime, accusations alone can damage one's reputation, relationships, and employment opportunities. The stigma associated with domestic violence can be difficult to shake, and it may take a long time to restore one's reputation.
Being Served a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
If someone has been served with a domestic violence restraining order, they could face severe consequences, including being forced to move out of their home and losing visitation rights or custody of children.
Being Convicted of a Domestic Violence charge
If someone is convicted with a charge related to domestic violence, they can face numerous severe consequences including, but not limited to:
- Extensive incarceration, fines, and restitution.
- Deportation from the U.S. if not a citizen.
- Loss of professional/occupational license.
- Loss of the right to own and/or carry firearms.
- Damage to reputation and candidacy for job opportunities.
What to Do if Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence
If you have been falsely accused of or charged with any type of domestic violence, it is important to take immediate action. The first thing you should do is hire an experienced attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases and has a successful track record of defending their clients. With so much on the line, obtaining a strong defense is critical at this time.
How to Protect Yourself Against False Accusations of Domestic Violence
If you find yourself in a situation where someone in your family or household is threatening you with a false domestic violence charge, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself, and you should do so immediately.
1. Stay calm and do not engage in any physical or verbal altercations.
Even if you do not lay a finger on the other person, in Minnesota you can still be charged with domestic assault if it’s shown that you attempted to inflict bodily harm upon a member of your family or household, or even you intentionally put them in fear of bodily harm. A history of engaging in physical or verbal altercations may be used against you to establish a pattern of violent behaviors that could undermine your defense.
2. Start to keep a record of any threats or incidents and gather any evidence that may support your side of the story.
It is crucial that you keep a record of any incidents or threats that occur; this could include witness statements, text messages, emails, and voicemails. By having clear and thorough documentation to back up your side of the story, you may be able to get ahead of and/or avoid severe legal, social, and personal repercussions.
3. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support.
Reaching out to a trusted friend or family member can be a great first step in seeking support and guidance. They can listen, offer comfort, and help you brainstorm solutions. Should the accuser file a report, the trusted person you turn to could provide testimony on your behalf.
4. Consider seeking legal protection.
Securing a restraining order or an order of protection can limit contact between you and the accuser, help ensure that false accusations are taken seriously, and may provide a you sense of stability in an otherwise chaotic situation.
5. Contact a criminal defense attorney for advice.
A criminal defense attorney who specializes in domestic assault cases can help you navigate the legal system, protect your rights, and build a strong defense against false allegations. It's important for all parties involved to take domestic violence accusations seriously.
False Accusation Domestic Assault Cases Our Team Has Handled
Charge Dismissed | Domestic Assault
Attorney Hillary Parsons defended a client who was charged with domestic assault for allegedly threatening her husband. Attorney Parsons was able to establish that the husband was using these allegations for his own benefit as the couple was about to finalize a divorce. In fact, our client’s soon-to-be ex-husband was threatening her with jail if she did not agree with his conditions for child custody. The case was dismissed, allowing our client to move on with her life.
Charge Dismissed | Domestic Assault
Attorney Hillary Parsons represented a client who was charged with domestic assault in Hennepin County. Attorney Parsons conducted a private investigation and found witnesses disputing the allegations. After this witness information was provided to the prosecutor, the case was dismissed before trial.
Charge Dismissed | Felony Domestic Assault
Attorney Hillary Parsons represented a client who was charged with two counts of felony assault in Ramsey County. Attorney Parsons hired an investigator to reach out to the alleged victim. The alleged victim acknowledged that they were under the influence at the time of the incident and that their injuries were not sustained during the incident in question. After this exculpatory information was provided to the prosecutor, the case was dismissed before trial.
Call Our Office 24/7 to Request Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one have been accused of or charged with domestic violence, our Minneapolis domestic assault lawyers are available to review your case, discuss your options, and explain how we can help. We have handled hundreds of jury trials and continue to provide successful advocacy for clients facing difficult situations and serious criminal charges in the Twin Cities area.