Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence

Worried you will be falsely accused of committing Domestic Violence? Here’s how to protect yourself

Whilst there is an unfortunately increasing number of Domestic Violence allegations being reported in our community, there are instances where a person may attempt to weaponise a false or exaggerated report in order to exercise power, influence and control over their partner.

To protect yourself from false allegations, it is critical to ensure that everything you do is actually authorised by law. Your actions then break down into three clear categories:

  • Behaviour that is clearly legal – For example, the right to peacefully be on a property where your name is on the title deed, or the right to use a car which is registered in your name and has habitually been your personal mode of transport;
  • Behaviour that is clearly illegal – For example, withdrawing money from a bank account using a forged signature, or threatening assault or property damage to get your way; and
  • The ‘Grey Area’ where the behaviour might be legal or might be illegal – This area requires a Judge decide whether or not the behaviour is or isn’t illegal.

Since the definition of Domestic Violence is so broad, and importantly includes actions which the victim considers to constitute harassment or intimidation, it is only the first category of behaviour that is absolutely safe from any Domestic Violence Order (‘DVO’). The second category is one where the behaviour is clearly unauthorised by law and so it is highly likely that a DVO would be granted.

However, the third category is the most contentious and perhaps the most important. As the issue requires a Judge to first decide on the matter, taking the law into your own hands and assuming that a Court would ultimately approve your position could still be considered an act of Domestic Violence and expose you to risk of a DVO.

Importantly, even in circumstances where the behaviour is legal, it is nonetheless illegal to conduct yourself in a way that uses harassment or intimidation to enforce what may nonetheless be a clear legal right. Accordingly, we encourage anyone who is unsure about their legal rights and obligations to seek comprehensive legal advice about their situation.

Michael Zande is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Family Law Specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the field. He is the principal at Zande Law Solicitors, Suite 9, Norwinn Centre, 15 Discovery Drive, North Lakes.  To contact Michael for advice, phone 3385 0999.

The information in this article is merely a guide and is not a full explanation of the law.  This firm cannot take responsibility for any action readers take based on this information.  When making decisions that could affect your legal rights, please contact us for professional advice.