Despite what others may think, not every person that is arrested has actually committed a criminal offence. There are circumstances where people are wrongfully or mistakenly charged with having committed a criminal offence, and there are also circumstances where a person is falsely accused of having committed a crime. While it is never a good thing when an innocent person is charged with a criminal offence, as a criminal defence lawyer, it is much more offensive when the person making the allegation knows that it is not true. However, we live in world where there are people who are willing to fabricate criminal allegations to achieve a particular goal, whatever that that goal may be.
My Spouse Lied to the Police, Now I’m Charged with Assault. What can I do?
Being charged with any type of criminal offence is a stressful and overwhelming experience. Charges involving domestic assault can be even more stressful than many other charges because they involve family members or someone who you are having an intimate relationship with. In circumstances where you have been falsely accused, you need to know what to do to protect yourself and ensure you do not find yourself facing any further criminal charges.
Here are 5 things you should do if you have been falsely accused of domestic assault:
- You should begin by exercising your right not to make a statement to the police. One of the duties of police officers is to investigate allegations of criminal offences. The police are not there to assist you, to provide you with legal advice or to prove your innocence. Once you have been arrested and charged, there is nothing that you can say to them that will result in in the charges against you being withdrawn. Only the Crown Attorney has the discretion to request that the charges against you be withdrawn.
- Anytime you are charged with a criminal offence you should be contacting a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you cannot afford to privately retain a lawyer, find one who will provide you with a free consultation so you can receive some basic legal advice.
- It is important that you comply with all of your bail conditions. If someone is willing to attend the police station and make false criminal accusations against you, chances are they may be willing to make further allegations that you breached your bail conditions. Even if your accuser initiates contact with you or invites you to come over, you must not have any contact or communication with them if that is a term of your bail.
- Make a personal record of your recollection of the allegations made against you. If the events relating to the allegation are a complete fabrication, then make a record of where you were and what you were doing at the time you are alleged to have committed the assault. Many domestic assault trials involve only the complainant and the accused, and credibility is a significant issue in these trials. Read more about Domestic Assault Trials.
- Do not accept any resolution offered by the Crown Attorney or enter into a guilty plea for an offence you did not commit. In an attempt to resolve a matter quickly, there are individuals who are tempted to accept a resolution that does not result in a criminal conviction (i.e. peace bond or conditional discharge). You should receive your disclosure on the first court date and review it with a criminal defence lawyer so that you understand what your legal options are.
Reasons for Making False Allegations
There are many reasons why a person would make up an allegation of domestic assault, one of which is revenge. In some circumstances false allegations of domestic assault are made with the purpose of improving one’s position in family court proceedings, particularly when there is disagreement with respect to custody and access of a child. Parents have even been known to coach their children to report allegations of assault to try to improve matrimonial proceedings. Whatever the motive behind making the false allegations is, it is important that you follow the 5 steps listed above.
Domestic Assault Charges and Going to Trial
Domestic assaults are one of the more common criminal charges that are before our courts every day. In fact, most courts have a particular time, day and courtroom that address only charges relating to allegations of domestic assault. Many of these allegations of domestic assault are made by women where the alleged perpetrator is a male, and most allegations are ultimately substantiated with very few cases that result in a trial. However, if you have been falsely accused of domestic assault, then you should be prepared to have a trial. Allegations of domestic assault are taken very seriously by the police and the Crown Attorney. Even in circumstances where the evidence against you is weak, the Crown Attorney will prosecute the charges so long as there is a reasonable prospect of conviction. Read more about Getting Domestic Assault Charges Withdrawn.
Contact Me if You Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Assault
Contact me today and arrange a free consultation if you have been falsely accused of domestic assault or you have been charged with any other criminal offence.