Domestic violence is a serious problem in Oregon, and victims of domestic violence should receive maximum protection from an abuser. However, the unfortunate reality is that sometimes, people make false allegations of abuse.
Why people make false allegations
The reasons for making false allegations vary. The alleged victim may want to gain an advantage in custody litigation or get someone out of the house without going through the legal eviction process. They may also file a restraining order as revenge after a bad breakup.
If you are served with a restraining order based on false allegations, it is important to bring a strong, aggressive defense. Having a restraining order on your record can cause you many problems, especially if you are charged with a crime as part of the allegations.
You may face problems at your job or have fewer future employment opportunities. You could lose your good reputation or miss out on valuable time with your children, if the restraining order prevents you from exercising custody rights. Your family and friends may never look at you the same way again.
What is abuse?
Oregon law states that a person who does the following has engaged in abuse:
- Physically injured the victim
- Tried to physically injure the victim
- Made the victim fear physical injury
- Made the victim have sexual relations using force or threatening force
The victim must also prove that there is a danger of further abuse. Proving abuse usually requires credible testimony or evidence.
Sometimes, restraining orders are based on nothing more than the word of the victim that an act of abuse happened. If you claim the act did not happen, it becomes a “he said, she said” situation.
Therefore, courts usually require additional, direct evidence of abuse, such as witnesses, photos or a written record of any threats. You stand a better chance of having the restraining order dismissed if there is no additional evidence other than the victim’s word.
What is not abuse?
Not all threats are considered abuse. Threats related to custody, verbal abuse, emotional abuse or damaging property cannot form the basis for a restraining order.
All cases involving alleged domestic violence are different. Experienced attorneys analyze each situation and create strong defense strategies designed to achieve the best possible outcome.