During my many years in law I had a number of cases that involve domestic violence. In all those years I never understood how violence entered into a family or relationship situation. I fully understand how family and friends can cause you to reach your emotional limits and yet, at those emotional limits, violence did not come into the picture. This should illustrate my position on domestic violence.
But just as heinous as domestic violence is the situation were somebody fabricates a story that is completely untrue simply to get the upper hand in a legal situation. I once represented a young man was in the military and was committed to being a 20 year service person. His girlfriend and he had an argument one day, and as occurs in arguments, emotions got heated. He left for work at the local hospital where he was a paramedic. His girlfriend continued to fume and build up her anger until she finally picked up the phone and call the police and falsely reported domestic violence issue. He was at work when they arrested him.
After she had time to settle down she contacted the prosecutor’s office and asked that the charges be dropped. She admitted that she fabricated the issue just to get back at him. This type of situation many prosecutors feel that they have to allow things to play out in court, and it was not until the pretrial conference several weeks later that the matter finally was dropped. I asked the court to admonish and punish the woman for filing the false report. The judge did not want to do so for fear that other women would be afraid to file charges against abusive partners.
Even though the charges were dropped, this young man was forced out of the military because in several states the mere allegation of domestic violence denies a person from being able to own or possess or handle a firearm. The military’s position was that you are a soldier first and a paramedic second, and if he could not have a firearm then he could not be of any use of the military.
In the recent past allegations have been flying about domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other charges. Action has been taken, as in the case of a NFL player, before there was any court determination or time for investigation. Too often the statement attaches, people lose their jobs and their branded for life. All without proper investigation or due process of law.
As opposed as I am to domestic violence I am equally opposed to those people who filed false charges. People should be punished when they are found guilty of domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment or other offenses. At the same time when it is discovered that reports are false, fabricated and pursued only for private gain, I think they should face the same punishment as those who are actually guilty of the charges against him. And I feel that the courts should not restrain themselves from punishing these individuals.