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Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-1-300x200Being arrested and charged with domestic violence even once can create serious disruption in a person’s life. However, for recidivist (repeat) offenders, the problems and consequences get decidedly worse. What happens if a person convicted of DV becomes a repeat offender, especially here in California where the laws on domestic violence are particularly stringent?

The impact of a domestic violence arrest is bad enough on its own, but if you don’t take significant steps to address the issue(s) that led to your arrest, that single incident can lead you down a slippery slope. Let’s take a look at some sobering statistics provided by the Public Policy Institute of California:

  • Fifty-three percent of domestic violence offenders have no prior history of domestic violence arrests.
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domestic-violence-defense-LA-300x197Few things in life can have a more profound negative impact on a family than domestic violence. Even being charged with DV, regardless of guilt or innocence, can deeply disrupt your world and leave lasting repercussions long after the fact.

But here’s the good news: These events don’t have to define the rest of your life. No matter how bad the circumstances, by acting and living with purpose going forward, you can move past those domestic violence charges and begin making your world better. The start of a new year and new decade affords a perfect opportunity to put the past in your rearview mirror. Let’s discuss some practical ways for you to prevent the bad things of the previous decade from following you into the 2020s.

Refuse to See Yourself as a Victim

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1-20-2020-Los-Angeles-DV-stories-2010s-300x177Domestic violence is, unfortunately, one of the most common crimes of our time. DV claims more than 30,000 lives worldwide each year, most of them women. Here in the U.S., DV arrests range in the hundreds of thousands each year, and that doesn’t account for the many other incidents that never get reported. (Some estimate there are as many as 10 million victims per year.) And while many of these stories make the headlines, the sheer numbers of them often get buried among other stories.

That said, every so often a particular story stands out to us for one reason or another. Now that the 2010s have come to a close, let’s take a look at a few of the more noteworthy domestic violence cases from the past decade to see what we can learn from them–in particular, how they can help those accused of DV understand their story in context and use this point in their lives as a positive turning point.

Russian Woman Loses Her Hands to Domestic Violence

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DV-in-Califonia-overview-300x293If we were to time-travel back several decades, we’d see a time in America when domestic violence was “winked at” by our culture. Couples fight, we’d reason to ourselves, and sometimes they hit each other. Incidents of violence in the home were difficult to prove, and law enforcement got involved only reluctantly. Patterns of ongoing abuse would go largely unchecked behind closed doors, largely because most cases were never reported.

Fast-forward to today, and it’s a much different story, especially in states like California, which has led the way in enacting stricter laws and penalties against domestic violence. California today has one of the most expansive and strictest sets of laws intended to protect the victims and prevent patterns of domestic abuse. That said, the laws have become so focused on protecting the victims that unfortunately, sometimes honest misunderstandings get classified as crimes, and innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Simply being accused of domestic violence can cause a person to be arrested, forced from their home and blocked from seeing their children at least until the accusations are sorted out. Even a misdemeanor conviction comes with mandatory jail time, loss of gun rights and other penalties. The victims do, in fact, receive much-needed protection, but for the accused, it’s never been more critical to have an experienced attorney to ensure a fair defense.

If you have recently been arrested for, or charged with, suspected domestic violence, it’s more important than ever to know what you’re up against. The following overview should help provide context regarding the most common charges and what constitutes domestic violence in this state.

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DV-laws-around-the-worldDepending on where we get our information, research has shown that anywhere between 35 percent and 70 percent of women worldwide have been victimized by domestic or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Most laws passed against domestic violence are intended to prevent and punish these acts, but here in the U.S., where we have some of the strongest laws against DV, 20 people still become victims of domestic violence every minute.

Even so, if we look at the research done by human rights activists, we find that America is truly at or near the head of the pack as far as legal protections for women. While many still become victims, they at least have some legal recourse. Let’s examine this issue beyond our shores and look at how domestic violence is handled in other countries around the world.

Countries with No Domestic Violence Laws

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bouncing-back-after-DV-arrest-300x200When you have been arrested on charges of domestic violence—regardless of guilt or innocence—it can seem like time has stood still. Between the possible fracturing of your family and the lurking uncertainty of a trial, you may feel as though life itself has come to a screeching halt.

But whatever the outcome of your charges, at some point this situation will be in the past. Life will move forward, and you’ll have the opportunity to put this setback in the rearview mirror. How you choose to move forward can make all the difference between whether you recover along with your family, or whether (heaven forbid) you wind up back in this situation. To that end, we’ve curated some helpful advice from several professionals coming from a diversity of perspectives on coming back from a personal failure, difficult situation or fracturing life event. Their insights may help you find a map to becoming your best self in the days ahead.

Dr. Roopleen on Bouncing Back After Failure

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howie-day-DV-chargeDespite the abundant education and preventative resources available today, domestic violence continues to be a significant issue worldwide. At least 60 percent of all violence-related arrests involve domestic violence against a significant other. Here in the U.S., approximately 20 people become victims of DV every single minute, accounting for 25 percent of women and 1 in 9 men—far too many for the press to cover them all. That said, a few high-profile cases do manage to make the news, and these cases often hold important object lessons for others accused of DV. Let’s take a look a few of the top domestic violence cases of 2019 to see what we can take away from them.

Domestic Violence Killings Reach 5-Year High in the UK

This news article by BBC News actually cites multiple DV cases and is worth a read on its own, but we start with this piece because it points to a disturbing overall trend. According to the report, 173 people in the UK died from injuries due to domestic violence in 2018, representing an increase of 32 victims from the previous year. Three-quarters of the victims were female, and the most common weapon used in the killings was a knife. In a related statistic, The Guardian says cases of domestic violence in general (both fatal and non-fatal) have risen by 63 percent in London alone over the past seven years.

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8-21-19-DUI-stress-300x200Even in the best of circumstances, getting arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of DUI can be remarkably stressful. In addition to the embarrassment and stigma associated with a DUI arrest, you also may face the very real prospects of fines, license suspension, jail time, and in some cases, the possibility of getting fired or being disqualified for certain types of work.

Facing just one of these possibilities is enough to wreak havoc on your mental health; with a DUI arrest, you may face all of them. While a good attorney can help you navigate these difficult waters toward the best possible outcome, you may need to practice a bit of self-care while working through the process. Let’s explore some practical strategies and tips for managing stress in the aftermath of a DUI arrest.

Put the Event in Perspective

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DUI-with-minor-216x300A DUI conviction in California comes with some stiff penalties, even for first-time offenders. However, if you have a minor in the car at the time of your alleged DUI, you could face enhanced penalties, including mandatory jail time. The specific law detailing these penalties is California Vehicle Section Code 23572 VC, sometimes called the “DUI with a Minor Passenger Penalty Enhancement.” The ramifications can be confusing at times, so let’s unravel them by answering some of the most commonly asked questions about this law and how it may affect your sentence if you’re convicted of a DUI.

What is California Vehicle Section Code 23572 VC?

This section of the vehicle code prescribes specific additional sentencing by the courts “if any person is convicted of a violation of Section 23152 [DUI] and a minor under 14 years of age was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense.” If convicted of a DUI where the law applies, it requires the courts to enforce mandatory jail time in addition to whatever sentence the judge gives for the DUI itself. The upshot is that if you had a child under age 14 in the car at the time of your DUI arrest and you are convicted, you will spend time in jail, even if it’s your first DUI offense.

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undocumented-DUI-los-angelesBeing arrested, charged and/or convicted for DUI comes its own set of challenges, even if you are U.S. citizen. But for undocumented immigrants, a DUI arrest can open up a whole new set of complications. Undocumented immigrants face a certain amount of risk anytime they get behind the wheel because even a routine traffic stop can put them on the radar of government authorities. But since the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) places a higher priority on deporting undocumented people with criminal records, a DUI arrest or conviction can heighten the chances of deportation considerably.

When/How Does ICE Get Involved?

Technically, a DUI is a municipal or state offense enforced by local or state police, not by ICE. Some people might gain a false sense of security over a DUI arrest because the local police and ICE are two different departments. However, a DUI arrest and/or conviction can get the attention of ICE quicker than you might think. ICE may get involved with your case in one of three ways:

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