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Take These Steps to Fight Being Wrongfully Accused of Domestic Abuse

Drew Duncan
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan and Cole, LLP

Charges of domestic abuse are taken very seriously in South Dakota—as they should be. However, sometimes domestic abuse accusations are untrue, and the accuser is using them as a weapon in a divorce, custody battle, or child support dispute. If you are facing this, the ramifications of a protective order being issued can be severe and may include removal from your home and being denied contact with your children.

Steps You Can Take to Help Defend Yourself Against False Accusations of Domestic Abuse

The first order entered when domestic abuse is alleged is often a temporary restraining order requiring the accused to immediately leave the home and to not have contact with the victim and often his children. This order is granted without a hearing if a judge believes it is necessary until a formal hearing can be held. If you even think you will be subject to false accusations of domestic violence, you may want to take these steps to protect yourself:

  • Hire an experienced attorney. An experienced family law attorney can help you build your defense against any false accusations and possibly help you stop the situation from escalating further before any order is entered.
  • Understand the law. You need to understand what is considered domestic abuse in South Dakota and the consequences you could face to know what could happen and the possible defenses you may have.
  • Collect evidence. Your attorney can advise you as to the evidence you will need to present at a hearing. Some of these could include texts, emails, and any other evidence that supports your version of what happened and puts you in a good light.
  • Show motivation to lie. If your spouse has threatened to file a complaint of abuse in the past to gain leverage or has lied about other important matters, this could be helpful in establishing motivation for lying.
  • Gather witnesses. If you have witnesses who can provide an alibi, who witnessed the alleged abuse, or could otherwise provide helpful information to your defense, you want to collect their contact information and provide it to your attorney as soon as possible.

If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic abuse, you must act immediately to defend yourself. Take the first important step of hiring an experienced family law attorney who knows what needs to be done and can assemble your defense quickly. We urge you to start an online chat today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our family law attorneys.


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