Accused of Domestic Violence? What to do if this happens to you.
Domestic Violence is a serious crime. The toll on its victims, families and any children witness to it is a very real and significant one. The impact often reaches beyond physical harm, having the potential to destroy lives. To be charged with such an offence can ruin reputations, impact careers and destroy relationships between family and friends. In some instances, the falsely accused could even end up being imprisoned.
It’s no wonder then that it can be extremely distressing to be falsely accused of domestic violence. Yet false accusations of domestic violence happen every day.
AVO’s are often unnecessary
False accusations are often made by loved ones, past and present, spouses, siblings and other family members. That is, those closest to the person being accused. Often accusations of domestic violence include exaggerations of the truth and, in some cases, even outright lies. The motivation of the accusing person making such allegations being to manipulate you or the court system for personal gain. For example, during a custody case, a spouse may falsely claim that their partner was guilty of committing a domestic violence offence against them in order to swing the outcomes in court to their favour.
Where there are claims of domestic violence made, an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is often put in place in order to protect the victim. Unfortunately, AVOs are over used and often highly unnecessary. Having an AVO placed against you can have serious repercussions such as limiting access to your place of work, your home and/or contact with your family and friends.
If the police believe there is enough evidence that domestic violence took place, you will be charged with a violent crime. Following are some of the violent crimes you could be charged with if this is the case.
If you have been accused or charged with domestic violence, it is important that you seek legal advice immediately.
Get in touch with our Sydney Criminal Lawyers at Australian Criminal Law Group
We work tirelessly to defend our clients against false accusations and charges relating to domestic violence across Sydney.
Australian Criminal Law Group are based in Sydney, Parramatta and Blacktown and represent clients from across the broader Sydney area. If you need further representation or advice, make a website enquiry here or call our free 24/7 hotline on (02) 8815 8167.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a personal violence offence committed by one person to another person with whom they are considered to be in a ‘domestic relationship’ with. This may include allegations of assault, property damage, intimidation, stalking or harassing and any breach of an apprehended violence order (AVO).
While there is no specific offence for ‘domestic violence’ in NSW, domestic violence is still considered a crime. Accusations of domestic violence can lead to being charged with a criminal offense.
Such criminal offences include;
- Common assault
- Stalking and intimidating
- Contravene apprehended violence order (AVO)
- Assault occasioning actual bodily harm
- Wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm
- Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm
- Recklessly wounding
What is a ‘domestic relationship’
You are considered to be in a ‘domestic relationship’ if you are or have been married to the other person, this includes de-facto relationships, or you have or had an intimate personal relationship with them, live with them or have done so in the past. It is also considered a ‘domestic relationship’ if you are both related to one another, or if you have ever been dependent on that person, including if they were a paid or unpaid carrer.
It is important to note that the definition of ‘domestic relationship’ also extends to anyone who has had a domestic relationship with the same person. That is, for example, your ex-partner’s new partner, or you partner’s ex-partner. of the person you have had a past domestic relationship with.
What to do if accused or charged with Domestic Violence;
Before you do anything else, you need to hire a criminal lawyer. The sooner that a qualified and experienced criminal solicitor can start to build your defense, the better the chances of success.
You will need to provide your solicitor with any evidence that can be used to assist in your case. This may include a list of potential witnesses and any information regarding places, times and otherwise that may help your team dispute the claims made against you.
It is also important that you watch what you say and do to avoid giving the accuser any ammunition that can be used against you. If possible, keep your distance from the accuser. If you have an AVO in place, you must follow the order precisely or you could be charged with the criminal offence of contravened apprehended violence order.
Defending against a violence offence
Your legal team will want to prove that the claims against you are untrue. There will need to be enough evidence to support claims made against you so that you guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt. Similarly, your lawyer will use any evidence they can gather from you or other sources to undermine the claims against you. If your accuser is unable to make a believable enough case that an offence took place, you could walk away free of any charges.
In cases where self-defense can be argued, your legal representative will likely use this defence to free you of any liability in circumstances where you would have otherwise committed an offence.
Often defendants have simply been acting in self-defense against a violent partner but their attacker actually comes out worse. In these cases, your legal representative will likely want to use the defense of self defense to get you the best result in court.
The test to determine if it was self-defense requires two ‘limbs’ to be satisfied.
- That you acted in self-defence if you believe your actions were necessary to
- To defend yourself or another person; or
- To prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of your liberty or the liberty of another person; or
- To protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference; or
- To prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass.
- You acted reasonably in response to the circumstances as you perceived them.
Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group to Defend your Domestic Violence Charges?
Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Affray offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or jail.