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Falsely accused of domestic violence? Do this now

Once that 911 call has been made alleging domestic violence, the odds are good that someone is going to get arrested.

If that someone is likely to be you, even though you know the claim is a lie, this is what you need to do:

Sit down and remain silent

Running from the scene won’t help. Talking isn’t going to help — and it could seriously hurt your case. Many people don’t realize it, but you can be guilty of domestic violence without even touching someone.

For example, merely blocking your spouse from leaving the room or refusing to give up the car keys while you were in the middle of a heated argument meets the part of Florida’s definition of domestic violence as kidnapping or false imprisonment. Around 70 percent of restraining orders are issued for reasons that are either just that trivial or entirely false.

The moment that you start explaining all of this to the police that arrive on the scene, you’ve just made your attorney’s job much, much harder.

Keep calm and stay polite

Everything you do or say is going to go into a report. So is your demeanor. Do yourself a huge favor and take a few deep breaths and calm yourself down before the police get there. The calmer your presentation and the politer you are, the easier it’s going to be for police to believe that you might just be innocent.

If you have defensive wounds from where you were attacked by the other person, politely ask the police to note the wounds for their records and maybe take some photos. While your attorney will probably do the same thing later, it helps to have these things listed in the official police report.

Again — don’t go into detail about your injuries. Simply say something like, “My girlfriend (or boyfriend) injured me.” That’s all you need to say right now.

Call an attorney and remain vigilant

Call a domestic violence attorney right away for help. He or she will instruct you on everything else that you need to know or do from that point forward when it comes to your case.

Conversations with your attorney are protected from intrusion, but nothing else is. Assume every call and conversation you have in jail is monitored and behave accordingly. Say nothing you don’t want to hear played later for the judge.

Source: www.saveservices.org, “SAVE,” accessed Aug. 31, 2017