H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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Colorado Domestic Violence False Allegations – The Threat To Call the Police And Mandatory Arrest Laws

A prominent therapist has an excellent website that includes information on how to process and defend against false allegations of domestic violence in the context of make – female relationships.

Dr Tara J. Palmatier of www.Shrink4men.com helps my clients understand the psychology behind false allegations – what follows is a summary of her recent article on this topic with my Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer comments.

The Threat To ” Call The Police” And Claim Domestic Violence

Describing certain women as ” high-conflict women (HCPs) or abusive personality-disordered women” – Dr. Palmatier terms making false allegations and threatening to call the police or actually calling the police as among the most serious behaviors among women with these personality traits.

I agree with Tara that the legal system actually enables these “behaviors and rarely punishes women who make false claims.” It is clear that calling the police and making false allegations leading to a mandatory arrest and criminal charges – can destroy a person’s life. The trauma of arrest – often in front of friends and family – including a couple’s own children – has long term impacts on reputation, career, and future relationships.

The Advice To Immediatley End The Relationship

Where the doctor and I part ways is her advice that “When a woman makes false allegations or threatens to involve the police, it should be an absolute deal-breaker. If she follows through on her threats; it’s a deal-breaker. Even if she doesn’t follow through on her threats; it’s a deal-breaker.”

Her exit strategy is to end the relationship.. Now.

My advice is this – Do NOT end the relationship immediately. Make her believe that you intend to continue the relationship – to work on it – to reconstruct it. Even if that is not the case. – The reason is two fold – if AFTER the case has been dismissed or favorably plea bargained ( if necessary ) or tried to a jury to a successful conclusion – THEN – you end the relationship…. you have not been harmed by the decision.

During the criminal case – the DA in Colorado – must consult with the victim under the Colorado Victim’s Rights Amendment. That consultation is critical to how the case is handled by the DA. Staying in her good graces is important – tha much is obvious.

If you later choose to rebuild the relationship – again – you have done no harm.

What Is The Psychology Behind False Allegations of Domestic Violence?

In her excellent article – Dr Tara J. Palmatier gives us these “reasons” for the 911 Call:

1. The girl who cried wolf. She wants your attention and/or attention from others. Calling the cops and making false allegations instantly puts her into the poor victim role and gets her lots of attention, sympathy and support. If she doesn’t confess it’s all a lie or drop the charges and takes the case to court, she gets even more attention and support. This also helps her immensely in any smear campaign she’s conducting against you.

2. Control. Many women make these threats when their tried and true control devices are no longer working for them. For example, if you’re setting boundaries and disengaging from her conflict and chaos, this is often when this kind of woman will threaten to call the police–it’s a desperate escalation to retain control. Or, if you have begun to stand up for yourself and are holding her accountable, she might call the cops to flex her muscles and rein you back in.

3. Punishment. The police are frequently invoked by this kind of woman when she’s angry about something you’ve done or haven’t done as a form of punishment. If he thinks he’s going to go out with his friends tonight and ignore me, I’ll show him. Break up with me? Try this on for size, mister. Some of these women may even make up allegations that have nothing to do with you harming them. They make up other random accusations, like you’re planning to rob a bank, are stealing money from work, have damaged her property or that you’re a terrorist. Spin, Random Accusation Wheel, spin.

4. To gain an advantage in divorce and custody proceedings. It’s fairly common knowledge that if a woman wants to gain the upper hand in a divorce or custody dispute, all she has to do is make up stories about abuse and/or being afraid. The police will remove a man from his home and the courts will issue an emergency restraining order, most often without any evidence. They simply take a woman at her word.

5. They believe their own lies distortions. Many abusive women, particularly if they’re high-conflict and/or personality disordered, believe their own lies as soon as they spring from their mouths. Worse yet, they’re often highly persuasive because of the intense emotions that accompany their lies and can usually convince others of their dubious “victim-hood”–at least initially.

Failure Of The Colorado Criminal Justice System
District Attorneys (DA’s) often ignore the obvious motivations that alleged domestic violence “victims” have in making false allegations. Some family law lawyers actually suggest this conduct to gain an advantage in a child custody or other divorce related proceeding.

Dr Tara J. Palmatier helps us to understand the mechanisms of the “distortion-lie” mehanism.

“Here’s how the distortion-lie mechanism may work in their brains:

• Questioning her about something. This could be a credit card bill, why the kids haven’t been fed or bathed, why she’s been staying out so late, why she keeps calling and hanging up, asking if she wants you to pick up milk on your way home from work, holding her accountable or breaking up with her. She becomes angered by your questions or being busted and, in her mind, this is a criminally punishable offense. How dare you question or criticize her?

•She interprets any of these stimuli as a life threatening or psychologically threatening event. Therefore, you must be abusing her and she’s in danger or she wants to “teach you a lesson.” I would argue that if she’s trying to “teach you a lesson” for angering or questioning her, she knows she’s not really in danger and is just being malicious because the law enables her to be.

The Red Flag Of Potential False Allegations of Domestic Violence

False allegations of abuse and threats to call the police …indicate that you are involved with a woman who is:

a) an unstable, radioactive isotope b) malicious and manipulative c) immoral and unethical d) all of the above.

As A Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Pay Attention To The Red Flags BEFORE You Are Arrested

If you can end the relationship before the police are called – end it. After charges are filed – reorganize only after you have spoken to a Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer. At that point – after you are under arrest and a domestic violence case is pending against you – only then – should you make a decision on where the relationship should go in the short term.

Accredidation is made here – I include this reference to Shrink4Men website :

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.