As this blog has discussed previously, a Wisconsin resident who is facing a criminal domestic violence allegation is exposed to some serious and long-term consequences, even for a first-time offense.

If it is the case that a person really has made a mistake and committed domestic violence, it is understandable that there will be some consequences. Of course, one can still expect fair treatment and to have an opportunity to explain any mitigating circumstances. Doing so, often with the help of an experienced attorney, can mean a lessened penalty and the ability to move past a mistake.

However, people do get accused wrongly of domestic violence. For example, a false accusation of abuse can arise at the end of a relationship or in the midst of a divorce or custody battle.

Statistically, though, the possibility of an incorrect allegation is just as likely in other contexts as it is when there is an active family law issue going on between two parties who, at one time, were romantically involved.

In around two-thirds of reported cases, there is some information that would substantiate the report of domestic abuse.

The remaining 1 in 3 cases are not all incidents of a person lying, that is, intentionally fabricating, a report of domestic violence. Many of these cases are not well-taken simply because there is not enough evidence to prove the report. In some cases, a person may have honestly been mistaken or confused about his or her report of abuse.

Admittedly, the point of the group that quoted these statistics were that false reports are not as common as one might think. However, the flip side is that one in three reports should for a range of reasons not result in any consequences to the accused, and certainly not a criminal conviction or jail time. The statistic goes to show why having a vigorous defense to domestic violence charges is important.