Most anyone who watches the news has heard about the Ray Rice domestic violence case. Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, recently had his $35 million contract terminated and has been indefinitely suspended by the NFL. These sanctions came after a new video surfaced, showing Ray Rice hitting his fiancé during an altercation in an elevator.
A disturbing video of Rice dragging the woman out of the elevator was aired on June 16th, and Rice was disciplined for the incident. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a two-game suspension for Rice in July, then later, when the full video aired, stated in a letter to Rice “This video shows a starkly different sequence of events…and warrants reconsideration of the discipline imposed on you in July.”
Rice is fighting the suspension, claiming double-jeopardy as the collective bargaining agreement states the Commissioner and a Club will not both discipline a player for the same act or conduct. The Ray Rice case has brought to light other instances of domestic violence among NFL players, including Panthers defensive lineman Greg Hardy who was deactivated from Sunday’s game after being convicted of domestic violence this summer in North Carolina. Hardy was convicted of choking his then-girlfriend, throwing her around, and dragging her by the hair.
It is never okay to hit another person—and the NFL sent a powerful message to their players that this type of behavior would not be accepted or tolerated any longer. Domestic violence is certainly an ever-increasing problem—not just in the NFL but also across the United States. Yet it is important to note that not all claims of domestic violence are exactly as they seem, and in some cases, claims of domestic violence are less-than-truthful.
When the Wrong Call is Made in Domestic Violence Cases
Because circumstances surrounding an arrest for domestic violence can be very subjective, the right call may not always be made by law enforcement. In fact, in some cases, the person who called the police ends up being the one arrested and put behind bars. Since fear of further violence may cause some actual victims to withdraw complaints, police officers and prosecutors tend to err on the side of the complainant.
Nationwide, at least 700,000 persons are wrongly arrested and charged with domestic violence annually, based on nothing more than the word of another. This number reflects the number of accusers who eventually admit they made up the allegations of domestic abuse—the number is likely much, much higher, because many false allegations are never admitted to by the accuser.
Why are False Accusations of Domestic Abuse Made?
Most false accusations of domestic violence are made in an effort to gain the upper hand during divorce or child custody proceedings, and most are made by women. These accusers may be angry over the divorce, and are seeking revenge. Those who claim domestic violence are more likely to receive more than their fair share of the marital assets, spousal support, and full custody of the children.
Domestic violence charges often come down to “he said-she said,” and when the woman is the accuser, she is more likely to be believed simply by virtue of her physical size, gender and relative strength. Revenge is a powerful weapon, and is the number one reason fueling false allegations of domestic violence. Unfortunately, in addition to destroying the life of another person (for a crime they did not commit), the biggest tragedy involving false allegations of domestic violence is that the voices of true victims may be silenced.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
The consequences you could face should you be convicted of domestic violence are extremely serious. The arrest will not come off your record, which could negatively impact your ability to obtain employment in the future. A conviction for domestic violence can result in jail or prison time and substantial fines and fees. Unfortunately, the consequences don’t stop there. If convicted, you could be required to attend a family violence counseling program, could be sentenced to psychological or alcohol evaluations, and could even be forced to pay restitution to your accuser. A domestic violence conviction could prohibit you from ever owning a firearm, and such a conviction can be used to your detriment in a pending divorce or child custody case. If falsely charged with domestic violence, it is extremely important that you speak to an experienced domestic violence attorney who understands that your future is at stake.
Contact Our Boulder Domestic Violence Lawyers
Those accused of domestic violence should never attempt to defend themselves. Instead, it is imperative that you contact a skilled Denver criminal defense attorney to present the strongest defense possible for you.
If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence in Denver, Aurora, Boulder, or anywhere in Colorado, contact the Denver criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303)422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.