Fighting False Accusations in Protection Orders
There are four kinds of protection orders in Washington. These include anti-harassment protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, sexual assault protection orders, and elder abuse protection orders. Sometimes requests for orders are filed for illegitimate reasons. In some cases, a party wants to get revenge or has mental health issues, or they may want to harass the person whom they claim is a perpetrator of harassing or violent behavior. If you are fighting false accusations related to a protection order, you will need an experienced Seattle civil protection order attorney by your side. At Blair & Kim, we understand both the criminal law and the family law sides of protection orders, and we can provide an aggressive, tough defense against false accusations.Fighting False Accusations Related to Protection Orders
False accusations can be driven by drug problems, control issues, abuse, harassment, anger, revenge, or just plain malice. It is important to fight them if the other party is seeking a protection order against you. Once a protection order is put in place, further criminal charges can be brought against you for violating it. While the protection order proceedings are not part of the criminal proceedings, what is said in those proceedings could have an effect on a criminal or family law proceeding.
Generally, if you know why the other party is exaggerating or making false accusations, you should let your lawyer know this. It is important for us to understand what is motivating the person seeking a protection order and why the accusations are false. We will ask questions designed to get all of the information so that we can best prepare your case. It is important for you to stay calm when listening to inflammatory false remarks made by the person claiming to be a victim. If we understand the details, we can present your version of what happened credibly and impeach the person claiming to be a victim.
The person making false accusations may have already obtained an ex parte temporary protection order against you. To obtain an ex parte temporary anti-harassment order, for example, the petitioner needs to show reasonable proof of illegal harassment and prove that he or she will face great or irreparable harm if the temporary anti-harassment order is not put into place. However, an ex-parte temporary anti-harassment protection order is effective for only a very short window of time. You should be personally served with a copy of any ex parte order, as well as a petition and notice of a date for the full hearing for a protective order. At the full hearing, we will have an opportunity to present your evidence and arguments, and we will be able to fight the false accusations.
It is important to realize that the accusing party only needs to meet a preponderance of the evidence standard at the full hearing to obtain a protection order. This is not a tough standard. It means that they must show that it is more likely than not that things happened as they are alleging in order to get the protection order. While you may feel that it is obvious that the accuser's claims are false, it is important to have an experienced attorney who knows how to show the judge that the accuser is lying. For example, it may be possible to show inconsistencies in the accuser's testimony about how events occurred. It may also be possible to show that the accuser has a particular motive to lie.
It is a misdemeanor to intentionally and in bad faith make a false accusation of child abuse or neglect. If the other party seeks a domestic violence protection order that involves these types of false accusations, he or she may face misdemeanor charges. Sentencing can occur under RCW 9A.20.021 and may involve both imprisonment and a fine.Consult a Protection Order Lawyer in the Seattle Area
If you are fighting false accusations related to a temporary or permanent protection order, you should retain a skillful Seattle attorney who understands how to defeat the false accusations and present your case. What happens in a protection order proceeding can affect both criminal and family law cases after a civil protection order is obtained. Our firm has both a family law attorney and a criminal defense attorney, who can work together to develop a strong strategy for your case. We represent people in Seattle, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and throughout King County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form.