Intimidating a witness: Not a good plan in domestic violence case

If you're trying to convince the judge that you're either innocent of domestic violence allegations or the actual victim of domestic violence, here is a piece of advice you can take to heart: Don't try to intimidate a witness in your case.

For example, celebrities are often the target of domestic violence complaints -- sometimes fairly and sometimes just because the accuser wants to create a sensation and maybe scare the celebrity into a favorable settlement so that his or her reputation doesn't become tarnished.

It's often hard to say what exactly is happening in a highly publicized case where both parties have their own public relations teams -- but if you want to remove all doubt from the public's mind about your guilt, do what singer Mel B, of "Spice Girl" fame, just did: send threatening texts to the witness that your husband's attorney has called on to testify in your upcoming case.

The singer had alleged that her husband, producer Stephen Belafonte, was physically abusive toward her and forced her into 3-way sexual encounters with their nanny. Another rap musician that was friends with the family was set to testify that he never saw any abuse and that Mel B was in control of the illicit sexual encounters, not her husband.

What's the reason the whole issue is important? In California, domestic violence can affect whether or not a spouse is entitled to spousal support. The odds are good that the former Spice Girl has more assets and income than her husband -- so effectively labeling him as abusive could damage his ability to collect spousal support after the marriage ends.

Now, the singer has opened herself up to a criminal investigation for witness intimidation -- a charge that's taken very seriously by federal authorities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly now involved.

Take your lessons from the mistakes of others: don't take the legal maneuvering into your own hands. Let your attorney handle the details when there are allegations of abuse so that you don't end up ruining your own case. At this point, even if the singer was being abused, she's damaged her credibility somewhat seriously by threatening someone else.

For more information on how our firm can help you handle a domestic violence allegation, please visit our page.


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