How to Handle False Allegations in Domestic Cases

What are False Allegations?

Untrue claims that are made by one person against another individual or an organization are referred to as false allegations. These allegations may be proven to be false by facts or other information that is currently available. Even if an allegation is disproven, it can still damage a company or person’s reputation in the public eye.

Claims that are intended to attack or discredit someone are also referred to as defamation. Slander and libel are two primary forms of defamation. Slander is any false statements that are made by one person against another person. Libel is defamation that’s expressed through effigies, print, pictures, signs, and other similar forms of communication. A person who commits libel tries to cause harm to a person in their vocation or potentially expose their target to ridicule, embarrassment, contempt or hatred by others.

Why do People Make False Allegations?

There are many reasons why people make false statements. A person may want to appear as a victim in a domestic dispute. They may want to portray their former partner in a negative light because they want to end the relationship, no longer love their spouse, or simply desire to move on.

In some situations, there may be instances of abuse or neglect that an individual wants to cover up. They may also try to avoid taking responsibility for their children, paying bills or other family obligations. One person could be shown in a false light so that a court or judge will be more sympathetic to the other party’s request for alimony, child support or divorce.

Domestic violence or cruelty could also be covered up by false allegations. Unless there are witnesses or visible evidence of abuse, it may be difficult to prove that such incidents occurred. It may often be one party’s word against the other. Verbal agreements and accusations can be very difficult to prove in a court of law. One or both people’s comments could even be dismissed as hearsay.

What Legal Remedies are Available for False Allegations?

The penalties for false allegations that are made in the state of Maryland vary depending on the nature of the crime. For example, a person who intentionally lies to a member of law enforcement may be ordered to pay a fine of no more than $500 and/or be sentenced to a maximum of 6 months in prison. Someone who makes false claims for the purpose of extortion can be required to serve up to 10 years in jail and/or pay a fine that won’t be more than $10,000.

What Can I Do If I’ve Been Accused of Making False Allegations?

If you’ve been accused of making false allegations, you have the right to seek legal counsel. Your lawyer will gather evidence and contact experts or other individuals who can corroborate your position. You may be asked to refute those claims in a court of law, so it’s important to have enough information as possible to present your case.

Copies of written messages, text messages, emails and any other media that can be documented should be prepared. Accumulating evidence and contacting witnesses who can testify on your behalf should be done as soon as possible. The more time that elapses, the more difficult it can be to obtain those details and for people to remember the details of what happened.

Statements can’t be recorded without the other person’s permission. Any statements that are recorded without their consent or knowledge cannot be used as evidence in a court trial. You may be asked to verify that the person allowed you to record their statements as well.

You should also avoid spending any time with your accuser or limit your time with them as much as possible. Don’t give them any reasons to further damage your personal reputation. Be careful about what you say and post on social media, as negative comments can be used to support the other person’s claims. Keep emotions out of the equation, especially if children are involved.

Both sides should try to remain civil if alimony, child support or child visitation schedules need to be worked out. The best interests of the children should be the first priority. Keeping this in mind may make it easier to determine child visitation and support and alimony as needed. No person should have an unfair advantage over their former partner in any way.

Protective orders may be filed by one or both parties as needed. They can be acquired from the local circuit court or district court. Protective orders are commonly called for in instances of abuse by a spouse, significant other, relative or other person who lives in the family home. The person asking for a protective order should accumulate evidence (including copies of police reports and photo or video evidence of bruises) and ask law enforcement officers about filing criminal charges if necessary. If the applicant is also seeking financial assistance, they should expect to supply pay stubs, bank statements and other associated documents.

If you’ve been accused of making false accusations or had to deal with someone who has made false allegations about you, contact us today. We’ll sit down and listen to what you have to say. Our trained professionals will provide valuable insight and assistance. We can even assist with paperwork and represent you in court.

False allegations can be very detrimental, even if they’ve been disproved. Your reputation and credibility can be damaged. Coworkers, business associates, family members, neighbors and friends may view you differently. It can take considerable time and effort to repair your image and personal relationships.

It won’t be easy, but it’s important to never give up on yourself. Stand up for what you believe in. Stay away from critics, especially those who continue to believe your accusers. You may need to prove yourself to others. Stick to the facts and address doubt and questions as they arise. Some will believe you and others won’t. That’s fine. The people who remain on your side and understand what you had to endure when false accusations were made against you are the ones who truly deserve to be in your life.

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