Domestic violence is a very serious issue which has gained more widespread attention over the past decade or so. As a result of public awareness, prosecutors and states are taking a much more severe stance against the crime and often will forge ahead with charges even in absence of compelling evidence against the accused. Unfortunately, false allegations of domestic violence are becoming more common during divorce or child custody cases in an attempt to “gain the upper hand.” The weapon of a false allegation of domestic violence can be every bit as lethal as a weapon in the hand of the accuser.
Reasons for False Allegations
You might wonder why a person would fabricate such stories against their soon-to-be ex-spouse. In fact, there is a reward of sorts for the person making such allegations. The (false) accuser gets attention they have likely been seeking and gains immediate sympathy from the judge and legal system in general. In fact, the accuser actually gets social approval after making such false allegations because, after all, we despite those who commit acts of violence against the weaker, right? It could come as a surprise to many that female false accusers can receive free legal assistance, governmental payments, free counseling and a variety of other support services simply by accusing the ex-husband of domestic violence.
Few Repercussions for the False Accuser
The person making false allegations of domestic violence may simply be doing so out of revenge—they are angry about the divorce and want to hurt the other person. Because the crime is relatively hard to prove definitively, there are few, if any, consequences for the person who makes false allegations of domestic violence in family court in order to gain a tactical advantage during the divorce. Most of those who have been falsely accused of the crime of domestic violence may feel they have nothing to fear and the truth will come out. The fact of the matter is that while it is possible the truth will prevail there is likely to be considerable collateral damage to the accused as well as any children involved.
Fallout for the Falsely Accused
The accused can become mired in the criminal justice system and could even end up serving jail time, paying fines, having a permanent criminal record and undergoing court-ordered therapy while the real criminal – the accuser –wins the marital assets and the children. The person who is falsely accused can suffer the trauma of public humiliation, a loss of freedom, the loss of a job or career (and future employment prospects). Fighting to prove one’s innocence can take years and years as well as devastate the accused financially and emotionally. Anyone who is currently involved in a contentious divorce or expects their divorce could reach that level should go out of their way to avoid conflict of any kind.
In some cases doing something as relatively benign as blocking your spouse’s exit from a room can be interpreted as domestic abuse. If possible, have a witness with you any time you must speak to your spouse once a divorce has been instigated. Your attorney will address the legal standards of the allegations to ensure they have been met as well as working to expose any factual inconsistencies related to the alleged abuse or violence. Behavioral inconsistencies from the accuser can be uncovered and motives to fabricate uncovered. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having false allegations of domestic violence filed against you, it is absolutely essential that you seek highly experienced legal counsel immediately.
Although the definition varies from state to state, sexual assault is generally defined as any type of conduct which is considered indecent or sexual in nature toward another individual and accompanied by actual force or the threat of force. The crime of sexual assault will also induce shame, fear, or mental trauma to the alleged victim. In most states the penalties for sexual assault have increased significantly as a result of public pressure. Those who have been charged with sexual assault should immediately hire the most experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in order to minimize the adverse consequences to their future.
More specifically, sexual assault is a felony offense and generally includes the intent to commit rape, sodomy or oral copulation against the will of another. Even if the act is not actually committed, sexual assault can be charged if it can be proven the intent was present. The most common type of sexual assault is rape which is the act of sexual intercourse with a person who made it clear they were unwilling or a person who lacked the ability to consent. In some instances, even if consent was given, that consent is not considered legal if the alleged victim is less than sixteen years of age, has been diagnosed with a mental illness, was inebriated at the time of the assault or was unconscious.
A conviction for sexual assault can lead to extremely severe consequences including:
Computers have advanced astonishingly over the past decade, however despite those advances they are still machines and still less-than-perfect. As most of us who regularly use a personal computer are aware, an e-mail from an unfamiliar name can show up in your inbox and when you click on it you are shocked to see the pornographic photographs which materialized on your screen. True, many of those charged with Internet porn or Internet solicitation of a minor actually committed the crime and will require the services of a highly skilled criminal defense attorney.
You may feel that if you truly did nothing wrong the truth will come out and you don’t have to worry about hiring an attorney. Nothing could be further from the truth. You must understand that whether you committed the crime you are being charged with or not, you are in just as much trouble as the person who admits they made a serious error in judgment and did commit the crime. A conviction for a sex crime of any type can alter your life forever as you may be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life.
Internet Solicitation of a Minor
Internet solicitation of a minor is charged when an adult is communicating with a minor under the age of 18 with the intent of engaging in a sexual activity. Some solicitation occurs in chat rooms where underage persons are lured into a meeting with the possibility of engaging in a sexual act. Remember that should the person you were communicating with turn out not to actually be a minor, the only thing that matters to the prosecution is if you thought that person was a minor. This means that even if law enforcement has posed on the Internet as a minor, you will still have committed the crime of Internet solicitation of a minor and it is unlikely you will be able to use entrapment as a defense.
What Could be Wrong With Your Charges
Even when Internet solicitation of a minor is charged, there are a number of things which could have gone wrong. In some cases another person has stolen your online identity and you are being unfairly accused, or another person could be blackmailing you by using your computer identity. It is possible you were directed to an Internet website you had no intention of visiting or even that comments you made in a chat room have been taken out of context and misconstrued.
If you have been charged with Internet solicitation of a minor you need an attorney who will come out swinging, taking a proactive stance immediately on your behalf. Your future truly is at stake and you don’t have the luxury of time at this particular juncture. If you are a parent your children could be removed from your custody, you could be jailed, fined, required to register as a sex offender and your life could change in other, equally negative ways. You could find yourself unable to secure a student loan or any type of governmental assistance and could find it extremely difficult to find valid employment or obtain a professional license you have worked very hard for. Your career and reputation are at stake – don’t leave them to chance.
In the simplest of explanations, robbery is the taking of property which belongs to another while burglary involves entering a home, business or other dwelling—with the intent to commit a crime once inside. Even though many of us use the two terms interchangeably, they are very different crimes with very different penalties and consequences should the accused be convicted. To delve into the subject a bit more thoroughly, the crime of robbery contains the following elements: