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False Reporting of Domestic Violence

Attorneys Assisting Tacoma Residents Wrongly Accused of Abuse

While domestic violence allegations should be taken seriously, it is an unfortunate reality that in some cases, domestic violence allegations are falsely made to cause legal problems for the alleged offender. If you are charged with a crime based on false reporting of domestic violence, you should consult an experienced Tacoma domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to discuss strategies for avoiding an unjust conviction. At the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC, our skillful domestic violence defense attorneys will analyze the circumstances surrounding your arrest and develop compelling arguments in your defense to help you protect your rights. We regularly defend people who are falsely accused of domestic violence in Tacoma and other cities throughout Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties.

Domestic Violence Under Washington Law

Domestic violence is specifically defined by Washington law RCW 26.50.10 as a sexual assault, stalking, or physical harm, injury, or assault of one member of a family or household by another member. Placing a family or household member in imminent fear of an assault, injury, or physical harm is considered domestic violence as well. Additionally, RCW 10.99.020 specifically lists several crimes that constitute domestic violence when they are committed by one family or household member against another member. The crimes listed include assault, burglary, trespass, mischief, kidnapping, and stalking. The list is not exhaustive, and other crimes may be considered domestic violence as well.

Domestic violence charges range from gross misdemeanors, which can be punished by up to 364 days’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000, to class A felonies, which are punishable by a sentence of up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000. Thus, a domestic violence charge is a serious allegation, and a conviction of a domestic violence crime can have devastating consequences. Even if the allegations against you are false, it is important to abide by any no-contact order issued following the report of domestic violence, since a violation of the order can be used against you as evidence, and it can help the accuser substantiate his or her claim.

Defending Against False Reporting of Domestic Violence

It is important to try to identify the motivation behind the accuser's false report. In some cases, the accuser is merely seeking vengeance for a perceived slight, while sometimes the accuser may be trying to gain leverage in a custody or divorce proceeding. Identifying the accuser’s motivation can make it easier to prove that his or her domestic violence allegations are false.

While false reports of domestic violence are not limited to any specific crimes, they more commonly occur in crimes that do not require direct evidence for a conviction. While the State can rely on circumstantial evidence in criminal cases, it nonetheless must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime alleged. Thus, if your attorney can show that there is no direct or circumstantial evidence that you committed the crime alleged, you may be able to prove that the accuser falsely reported a domestic violence crime.

Evidence that helps prove false reporting of domestic violence includes documentation of any communications with the accuser before the accusation. If the accuser has a history of making false reports, this can be advantageous to your defense as well. You should also identify any witnesses to your interaction with the accuser who can testify on your behalf. If you are falsely accused of a domestic violence crime, it is essential to retain an assertive criminal defense attorney to set forth persuasive arguments on your behalf to help you avoid a conviction.

Retain a Capable Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in the Tacoma Area

Allegations of domestic violence should not be made or taken lightly, but sadly, people may falsely report domestic violence crimes to cause legal difficulties for the accused person and impair their rights. At the Law Offices of Smith & White, our seasoned defense attorneys can work diligently to help you prove that the charges against you are unfounded. We have an office in Tacoma, and we are available to meet by appointment at our satellite office in Vashon. You can reach us at 253-203-1645 or through our online form to set up a consultation to discuss your case.

Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika