Is It a Crime to Lie About Domestic Assault?Yup, it sure is. While lying in any criminal case, in any circumstance, is a dangerous and largely illegal move, it’s even more of a big deal in something as big as a domestic assault case. Crimes relating to that sort of abuse are regarded as especially serious and horrific, and therefore all those who are accused of it are treated accordingly. It also means that everything related to it is taken just as seriously, which can either be a good or bad thing depending on which side of the aisle you’re on.

In Maryland, several actions count as criminal domestic abuse under the law:

  • Making someone fear imminent bodily harm
  • Causing serious bodily harm
  • Assault
  • Rape or attempted rape or sexual assault
  • Revenge porn (sharing someone else’s nudes without their consent, usually out of spite)
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment

See? This is heavy stuff, and it’s also stuff that can be hard to prove from either side, simply because there may not be actual evidence. With the reliance on hearsay, lying either for or against such accusations is not taken lightly.

What to do if you’re falsely accused of domestic violence in Maryland

Being charged with something like this is terrifying, no doubt about it. Whether you did it or not, you likely know that even if you’re not convicted, it’s not the type of accusation that simply goes away. Domestic violence allegations can and do ruin lives of innocent people. If your ex is threatening to turn you into one of them, you’re probably frantically wondering how to save your reputation along with preserving your freedom, and who can blame you?

Well, the good news is there are options available. The bad news is it’s going to take a while. Until those criminal charges are dropped, you can’t really do anything except advocate for your own innocence (with the help of your attorney, of course). So, while you’re still dealing with your own criminal case,  to follow all court orders and cooperate to the best of your ability. No attempts at violating anything, no spiteful acts, no running. Work with your attorney to advocate your innocence, either by discrediting and disproving evidence or claiming self-defense.

Once you are no longer a defendant, you have options to fix your position. Amongst other things, your accuser could be sued for defamation. If you’re able to prove they were lying about everything, they may have to pay you compensation for things like harm to your reputation, lost wages, humiliation, and quite a bit more. Yes, you still want an attorney for this, but come on — what revenge could possibly be sweeter? Not only that, but having that victory on your side could be the proof your future employers, sweethearts, and landlords need to actually trust you.

Why you should never lie in court, even if you’re “guilty”

Again, of course you’re scared. Facing domestic abuse charges are terrifying enough without the near-immediate uprooting of your entire life that follows. Maybe you’ve just been ripped away from your kids, kicked out of your home, fired from your job. Maybe you’ve been behind bars awaiting trial all this time. It absolutely makes sense that you just want to do anything you can to make things calm down.

But you cannot — repeat, CANNOT — lie about what happened if something did, indeed, happen, especially under oath. Perjury is a serious crime in and of itself, which could land you 10 years in prison on top of any further sentencing you receive. The prosecution knows how to dig up dirt, I can assure you, and they will happily kick it right back into your face in court. Once that happens, you can pretty much kiss your defense goodbye. Any and all credibility you had in the eyes of the jury will evaporate, even if you only lied about “one part.”

If the allegations against you are true, you cannot lie, but you also do not have to lay down and take the maximum punishment the victim may wish for. Look, you’re not a monster. You’re a person, and you made a mistake. A bad, serious mistake, but one nonetheless. If certain conditions in your life made that mistake likelier to happen (like PTSD or an addiction disorder), your criminal defense attorney can make that work in your favor by possibly getting you into a treatment program instead of behind bars.

In situations where that is not an option, your criminal defense attorney may try to question the conditions of the case, asserting that they do not meet the necessary criteria for specifically domestic assault. Even if the charges against you cannot be completely dropped, it may be possible for them to be swapped out with lesser charges that have more lenient sentences. It’s not easy to do, but with stakes this high, you hopefully agree that it’s worth the effort.

Seriously, take this seriously. Don’t lie or hide or cheat, but find yourself an aggressive Annapolis criminal defense attorney as soon as possible once you’ve been charged with domestic assault. Yes, even if you did it and yes, even if you didn’t.  Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law has been the law firm people turn to for years when they’re facing criminal charges, and I can help you too. Of course, I know this because I am, indeed, Drew. And I am confident that your case is not nearly as hopeless as it may feel, as long as you call me immediately to get started. I’m here for you in Annapolis and Ellicott City, so call me today at 410-271-1892 or use the contact form.

And remember: keep calm, and call Drew!