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What if you have been reported for gender-based violence?

Criminal law
What if you have been reported for gender-based violence?

Gender violence is the order of the day. It is a problem that costs the Spanish government more than 4 billion euros.

Facing a complaint of gender violence is a stressful time that requires you to be well informed. For this reason, here is a detailed guide for men who find themselves in this situation.

What is the usual procedure for reporting gender-based violence?

When a report of domestic violence is filed, the first thing that happens is the opening of a police investigation. During this stage, the police make a few small enquiries and proceed to arrest the defendant.

The man is then taken to court and court proceedings are opened. The judge must decide, among other things, whether to issue a restraining order during these proceedings.

The criminal court procedure has two phases:

- First phase of investigation carried out by the judge for violence against women, which will be called diligencias previas or diligencias urgentes, depending on the type of judicial procedure to be followed.

- The second phase is a trial where the innocence or guilt of the accused will be determined.

The aftermath of being reported for gender-based violence

The personal repercussions of a report of gender violence are profound and varied. On a social level, you may face the "judgement" of acquaintances and family members. The stigma associated with these accusations can reward you with significant isolation, affecting your emotional and mental well-being.

To deal with this aftermath, it is essential to seek support from trusted networks, including family, friends and psychologists. They can lend a hand in dealing with this challenge.

It is paramount to avoid any further conflict with the complainant that may provide an excuse for a new complaint.

Legal consequences

The legal consequences depend on the evidence presented, and can range from interim measures to convictions.

Punishments in this area will almost always be imprisonment.

Courts must always strictly respect the principle of the presumption of innocence, which means that a person is innocent until proven guilty and there is a final (non-appealable) judgment.

Working closely with your GBV lawyer to present an adequate defence is key. Documenting any relevant interactions and gathering evidence to confirm your version of events will help you in your defence.

Will your employer find out if you have been reported for gender-based violence?

In principle, you can rest assured that they do not need to know except in two specific circumstances:

- If the complainant or any other person reports, in bad faith, to your work.

- If the complainant is part of your work environment. In this case, monitoring by the police and a possible restraining order will make it very likely that they will find out.

Remaining professional and focusing on doing your job well can help reduce negative impacts.

How to prepare your legal defence

Preparing your defence is a thorough process that needs the collaboration of your lawyer. 

- You need to document the facts in detail, preserve any relevant communications and seek out witnesses who can support your version of what happened.

- Your lawyer needs to analyse the proceedings, the evidence and prepare a defence strategy that will increase your chances of winning the case.

- It is key to be transparent and provide your defence lawyer with as much information and documentation as possible.

- If you lie to your lawyer, even out of embarrassment, it will be detrimental to you. Keep in mind that he or she will not criticise you, but will defend you without making value judgements.

Possible plea bargaining

In case the crime has actually taken place, there is solid evidence of it and your lawyer assesses that there is a very high probability of conviction, the strategy of a plea bargain can be chosen. 

How can a domestic violence lawyer help you?

Choosing an experienced lawyer if you have been reported for domestic violence is crucial, because the lawyer will not only defend your rights, but will also work on the most appropriate strategy for your case.

If you have full confidence in the lawyer you choose and let him or her work on the line of defence and the strategy to execute it, the chances of getting the best result for your interests increase.

Criminal law

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