When a neighbor overhears something or thinks they see something suspicious going on, they may be unsure what to do. Should they come to talk to you? Should they ask if anyone else saw the same thing? Should they just call the police?

In cases where they suspect domestic violence, they may decide to just call the police without asking any questions or even bringing it up to you. After all, people often worry about getting into the middle of someone else’s argument, especially if they think it could turn physical. They may also not want you to know who it was that saw or heard the incident. They’ll just make an anonymous call to the police and report it. 

Of course, this can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings. All of that yelling and swearing they heard? Maybe that was you yelling at the television because your favorite football team just blew another fourth-quarter lead. That black eye that your spouse has? Maybe a child threw a hard toy at them when they weren’t expecting it. 

The point is that there’s often an innocent explanation, but your neighbor isn’t going to know that without asking, and they could call the police when it is not needed. You could even get arrested when you didn’t do anything wrong. The police don’t know any more than your neighbor and they don’t know who to trust. You can tell them that you did not and would not abuse any member of your family, but they could simply assume that you’re lying at that moment and charge you anyhow. 

If this happens to you, make sure you know what legal defense options you have.