Recently in Oklahoma City, Thunder Guard DeAndre Liggins was handcuffed and taken away in a police cruiser after allegations by his girlfriend of physical abuse. Liggins, through his attorney, states unequivocally that he has never harmed a female in his life. The affidavit filed by the girlfriend stated Liggins struck her and that after locking herself in the bedroom Liggins kicked the door in, subsequently tossing a fan and an Xbox at her head. Liggins was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault and battery and domestic abuse in the presence of a minor, later being released after posting an $8,000 bond. The twenty-five year old who played in 39 games last year averaging 1.5 points per game continues to deny all charges of domestic violence. Although it is not yet known whether Liggins did, in fact, assault his girlfriend during an argument or whether she has other motives for making such claims, many people are falsely accused of domestic violence each year.
The Other Side of Domestic Violence
In light of the above, while domestic violence is a very serious issue, there are many instances in which the allegations are blown out of proportion—or even made up. Kansas, like several other states, has a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases. In any situation where the police are called in for a domestic disturbance it is likely that someone involved in the situation will be taken to jail, and, in most cases, that person will be the male in the relationship. Even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean a crime has been committed.
Accusations of domestic violence can result in subsequent court orders such as a Protection From Stalking Order, a No Contact Order or a Protection from Abuse Order. You could be prohibited from living in your own home or even visiting children or other family members. Some cases of alleged domestic violence boil down to a spousal argument which escalated in which both parties were equally culpable. A raised voice or gesture may be wrongly perceived as threatening and the term “fear of harm” which exists in the domestic violence definition can be extremely subjective as well.
Why False Accusations are Made
Being falsely accused of domestic violence can change the life of the accused forever. What would prompt a person to make false allegations of such a serious crime against another? Most often such allegations are seen during a contentious divorce or a child custody case in which one party wants an advantage against the other. Revenge can be a motive as can jealousy, alcohol and drug abuse or even mental health issues. Even when it is later discovered that false allegations of domestic abuse were made, prosecutors rarely file charges against the person responsible. This means there is little deterrent to making up allegations of domestic violence.
Long-Term Ramifications of a Domestic Violence Conviction
Even if the person convicted of domestic violence escapes jail time or substantial fines, there are long-term effects of such a conviction. It can become extremely difficult to secure employment, the right to own a firearm may be lost, the ability to obtain a student loan or other type of governmental assistance can be taken away, it can be difficult—if not impossible—to obtain a professional license, immigration status could be lost and custody and visitation rights can be lessened or taken away completely. Even mere accusations of domestic violence may result in mandatory anger management classes, restraining orders and a reputation in tatters.
What to Do if You are Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges
One of the most important things you can do following an arrest for domestic violence is to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. It is imperative that you not speak to the police or the state prosecutor until you have discussed your case with a qualified attorney. If there were any witnesses to the incident you should obtain statements from them which could help you prove that you did not commit an act of domestic violence. Keep meticulous records following the incident, going back and writing down every single detail you can remember. The smallest detail could be the one that keeps you from going to jail for a crime you did not commit.
If you are arrested in Kansas on domestic violence charges, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help. Whether you are innocent of the charges or you are a good person who made a bad decision, Stacey Schlimmer knows your future is at stake and will aggressively defend you against charges of domestic violence. Stacey has the experience and the knowledge necessary as well as a solid understanding of the legal process and compassion for your situation. Call (913) 390-0484 today or contact us online.