I can't tell you how many times I've seen people use a domestic allegation in order to gain an advantage in a divorce case. To me, it's a very sad situation. I've been divorced. A lot of people have been divorced.
Sometimes people are so greedy to get money that they figure they're going to claim some sort of a domestic violence charge or some sort of sexual allegation related to a child that isn't true and it's really not fair.
False Allegations of Domestic Violence
It's a real nasty way to do things to try to make money, but it does give you a huge advantage if you can claim that somebody committed some sort of domestic violence offense and make that stick against that person.
Then not only will the person be criminally prosecuted, lose a lot of rights and potentially go to jail, but you'll also gain an advantage in a divorce and potentially gain thousands of dollars over the course of the divorce. You'll have control over the children.
I really don't think it's fair, so I will fight tooth and nail. If I see a situation — a case where somebody is using the criminal system trying to claim some sort of domestic violence charge in Los Angeles that isn't true and has no basis and is just trying to gain an advantage in a divorce — I will fight for my clients.
I've been doing this for 25 years and recently I won a bunch of cases where I could plainly see that someone was just trying to gain an advantage in a divorce and that's why they were claiming that my client was involved in some sort of domestic violence-related event and we've got to fight.
Using Evidence to Attack Accuser Credibility
We have to figure out what evidence we can get to show the person is lying, how we can attack their credibility and I will not stand for it as a criminal defense attorney. I'm going to fight for my clients if they're charged with a domestic violence case and it's because the other person is just simply trying to gain an advantage in a divorce.
That's a really sick way to live — to accuse somebody of such a serious crime when you know it's not true, but in reality or they're trying to do is get money.
So, what we have to do is sit down and get our strategy together — get the real story about what happened and then try to piece the surrounding circumstances, piece the evidence together, to get our theory of the case — what happened? How it happened?
A lot of times when people lie about things, you can see, the proof is in the pudding. Someone is going to claim that a 200-pound guy punched them in the face and they've got no injury on their face. They're obviously lying and there's no way a jury is going to believe it.
You're just going to look at a jury and say wait a minute, if this guy punched this person in the face, there's going to be some sort of a mark. The fact that there's no mark shows that they're lying. If they're going to lie about something so basic as that, they'll lie about anything.
Then of course, you have to get the undertone of the fact that this person wants a divorce. They've got a divorce attorney. They're trying to get money. They're trying to gain an advantage. They're trying to get money for the long haul and they will stop at nothing to get that money. So, I of course talk to my clients about that. We set our strategy together and then we will go ahead and fight.
But you don't obviously want to use that strategy if you committed domestic violence against somebody because you're going to probably lose and then you'll end up with a much worse result.
Negotiation with Prosecutor on Domestic Violence Cases
So, that's one of the biggest things that I have to do as a defense attorney — is to figure out when someone's telling me the truth, when they're not telling me the truth — and regardless of whether they're telling me the truth, we have to talk about what evidence the prosecutors and the police are going to bring to bear against you.
If that evidence is going to be significant and you're looking at spending time in custody and getting convicted, then sometimes if they've got the evidence on you and you were involved in something you shouldn't have been, then we need to work out some sort of a deal.
If on the other hand, you did not commit against domestic violence against your partner and they're just simply trying to get money and make a false allegation against you, then obviously, we know what we have to do. We're going to take that case to trial.
We're going to bring forth the evidence that shows that the alleged victim is not credible. You're probably going to have to testify and tell your story. Let the jury hear what you have to say.
I'm going to be given the opportunity to cross-examine the alleged victim, point out what I'm sure will be some inconsistencies in their story and their motive to lie and then we'll put all the pieces together in the closing argument and do everything we can to win your case because it's not fair that somebody gets convicted if they did not commit the crime.