It is difficult to view a domestic assault charge in anything but a negative light. After all, damage done to victims is often irreversible and defendants end up with a lasting mark on their records. Yet, contrary to popular belief, criminal charges such as these are hardly ever black and white, and some cases can end on a positive note. Such cases often involve false domestic assault accusations. In Mississippi, those who are wrongly accused have the right to dispute false claims and move on with the satsifaction of a normal life.
When it comes to media attention toward criminal charges, domestic assault cases typically make a big splash. The National Review disclosed the unfortunate 2014 case of NBA Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham, in which Cunningham’s girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Cunningham strongly denied her claims that he broke down a locked door and choked her; however, officials believed his girlfriend’s story and immediately arrested the NBA player. To make matters worse, Cunningham’s girlfriend placed a restraining order against him, which she later claimed Cunningham also violated. Cunningham again denied these accusations, but later found that his contract with the Timberwolves had not been renewed.
It is clear that just one accusation can leave a defendant with a broken record and reputation. End Violence Against Women International, an organization that educates the public about gender-based violence, provides statistics on false domestic violence accusations. These statistic reveal the following:
- Roughly 2 to 8 percent of all domestic violence reports are false
- False reports are commonly confused with other types of disclosure cases
- Many cases involve untrue statements without malice
Given this information, domestic assault accusations do not always involve malicious intent. Sometimes, a victim is of an unsound mental state, gives inconsistent information on the case or gives baseless reports. EVAWI also points out that, although a large majority of false accusation cases involve younger people, such cases can be incredibly complex and therefore difficult to assess in court.