Domestic violence is a significant problem in the United States and is a charge to take seriously if you’re accused. Being accused of domestic violence means that an alleged victim has come forward to say that you’ve been abusive in some manner. Interestingly, actual violence does not have to take place to result in this claim. It’s possible to be accused if someone claims they feel reasonably afraid that you will harm them or even if you’ve destroyed a piece of their property.
In California, the definition of physical abuse doesn’t just involve hitting another person. It may include actions like throwing things at them or kicking them, too. Stopping someone from coming or going freely or abusing pets in the home may be considered abuse as well.
Nonphysical abuse can still lead to charges
You should know that there are types of nonphysical abuse that could lead to charges. For example, some common kinds of abuse that aren’t physical in nature include:
- Emotionally abusing the other person, such as by berating them or using gaslighting to make them feel like they’re the problem in the relationship when they have valid concerns
- Psychologically abusing another person
- Financially abusing the other party by withholding money so they can’t leave or controlling all their purchases
Those who feel that they’re victims of abuse have the right to go to the police or an attorney to seek out a restraining order and support. The problem with this is that almost anyone can claim that abuse has occurred with minimal evidence. This means that you may be served with documents requiring you to appear in court or be restricted from returning to your home because someone has made a claim against you.
Most restraining orders are emergency or temporary orders at first, and then a court hearing is needed to move to a more permanent option. If you are served with documents to appear in court, it’s in your best interests to look into ways to defend yourself. If you are arrested or facing allegations that you need to fight, you should find out more about your legal options before speaking with the police or appearing in court.