How-To Combat VAWA, If YOU Become Victimized:
As VAWA II (Violence Against Women Act) passed into law last month more
men and fathers will *get hit* with domestic violence injunctions,
What is a DVI (Domestic Violence Injunction)?
A Domestic Violence Injunction is a Complaint sworn out by usually a
woman in affidavit form alleging that a man has beat her, hit her, slapped her, pushed her, intimidated her, threatened her with harm, et al. Every state in the country has their own subsidiary version of VAWA. The *essence* of the law says that a woman need only show by way of hearsay allegation, with no proof or evidence, she is in imminent danger of bodily harm for herself and her child(ren). In Massachusetts DVI's are called 209A's, in
Pennsylvania-PFA's (Protection From Abuse Orders), in Minnesota and Iowa-OFP's (Orders For Protection). In many states, DVI's carry *mandatory arrest* measures against the accused.
The Effects of VAWA and DVI's Upon Your Relationship With Your Children:
If you think that *just being accused* of alleged spousal abuse of your
wife or paramour will *not* dampen your relationship with your kids, think
again! There is a rebuttable presumption that the accused will *not* be allowed joint custody, or unsupervised visitation, unless the DVI is squashed in its entirety. That means-Do NOT plea bargain!!! Do NOT plead nolo contendre, or no contest, meaning you're not contesting the charges against you. If you do so that is tantamount to a plea of guilty!!! Even assuming the district attorney decided against prosecuting you in a criminal case because you accepted a plea bargain (e.g. you decided to enter a batterers intervention program in exchange for no jail time), your *plea* will come back to haunt you in family court where visitation and custody are at issue.
How-To Counter False Domestic Violence Charges?
Accusing a man of spousal abuse in 2000 America is the *new weapon of
choice* in both juvenile and family court. Once accused you are presumed guilty. Once accused you're labeled with OJ Simpson Syndrome. And, once accused, you
must prove your innocence while impeaching the credibility of your false
accusers. I recommend the following defense strategy when falsely accused of spousal abuse:
1. If arrested, retain a criminal defense lawyer who is associated with
NACDL (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) and who has tried
false abuse cases before, successfully so. Get a copy of the attorneys CV
2. If in civil court, retain an attorney who is board certified in
family/marital law, who is associated with ATLA/AAML (Association of
Trial Lawyers of America/American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers), and who has litigated false abuse cases before, successfully so. Get a copy of the attorneys CV (Curriculum Vita-Resume).
3. File A Request For Production of Documents obtaining a copy of the
accusers complaint/affidavit sworn out against you.
4. Realizing, once you've been accused of spousal abuse, you have *only*
14 days until your day in court-the evidentiary hearing, where you get to
present evidence, witnesses and testimony to refute the allegations
against you, consider hiring an investigator to interview collateral witnesses who may be able to impeach the accusers allegations.
4. Take out a mutual DVI against your accuser. This will ensure that no
further antics are played out by the complainant as she will not be
allowed near you.
5. Have your attorney file a Deposition Duces Tecum against the
Complainant to have her deposed under oath.
6. Go for psychological anti-domestic violence testing, specifically, the
MMPI-2, CTS-2, MOSHER HMI, CAPI-Form VI, and Polygraph, to ensure that
you do *not* have the propensity to be the monster she painted you to be. Also, your VRAG (Violence Risk Appraisal Guide) score should be calculated.
Dean Tong, Trial Consultant