Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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contrite-after-domestic-violence-arrest-300x233You hit your significant other. Now you’re facing possible jail time and a restraining order. But while those are serious consequences, the worst, for you, is that you’ve lost the love and respect of someone you really cared about. Is there any way to get that back? To restore normalcy to your life and relationship?

Protect Your Freedom AND Engage in Sober Reflection

It’s one thing to vigorously defend yourself against legal charges related to the domestic violence event. You deserve fairness, and the consequences of a criminal conviction can profoundly affect your financial future, your job prospects and even your freedom. And even though you did (by your own admission) commit a violent act, you need to protect yourself against overly aggressive prosecutors. You’re looking for fairness and a chance to reboot and start again.

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Domestic violence affects people of every age, race and income level. But cases of domestic violence (DV) usually make the news only when prominent individuals such as actors, sports stars and reality TV celebrities become involved. These cases often open up important discussions… that are subsequently treated with only cartoonish analysis along the lines of “he’s bad; she’s good” or “she’s wrong; he’s right.” This is tragic, not only because domestic violence isn’t a simple crime but also because trivializing these cases prevents us collectively from reflecting and learning important lessons about ourselves, our habits and strategies that could prevent future violence. To that end, we’re going to summarize some major recent DV cases in the news and dive deeper—using them as a jumping off point to provide meaningful insight for defendants (and others).johnny-depp-DV

Ezekiel Elliot (Accusations Against an NFL Star)

When a former girlfriend accused the Dallas Cowboy’s running back Ezekiel Elliot of domestic violence, the NFL investigated the charges and ordered his suspension for six games. But Elliot refused to take the suspension without a fight; he contended that the league had not given him a fair hearing.

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As someone recently accused of domestic violence charges, you’re no doubt acutely aware of the challenges faced by victims. Whether you stand falsely accused of hitting a spouse or partner, or whether you took an action against someone you love that you profoundly regret, it’s important to empathize. After all, finding a resolution to your family crisis—and your criminal case—requires understanding the situation first.falsely-accused-DV-300x221

Unfortunately, those accused of domestic violence—as well as those victimized by violent acts—often look only to the courts to sort things out. Sometimes, sadly, punitive intervention is necessary. But wouldn’t it be better if everyone involved could have their needs met and society provided more (and better) resources to families in trouble?

After all, the end goals we’re all seeking are the same:

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Social media has become an integral part of our lives and our culture. While it has its benefits—it’s fun to stay connected to family and friends—there’s also a downside. Facts get distorted, ugly rumors spread quickly and some unfortunate person’s life can get turned inside out in a matter of hours.losangeles-domestic-violence-charges

So what happens when you get charged with domestic violence? How do you respond if your accuser takes the story public? Your answer may depend on the truth of the charges against you and what impact the social media statements will have on your personal and professional life.

NOTE: Before you respond in any way, speak with a qualified Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor mistakes with respect to how you handle the situation online can have profound implications for your ability to fight the charges.

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Both California and U.S. laws offer victims of domestic violence some basic legal protections, including the ability to obtain restraining orders. These laws are not perfect, nor are they always effective, but in general they work and they have the approval of society behind them. Police will arrest domestic violence offenders and the state will prosecute them under criminal statutes. If convicted, the abusers face imprisonment and/or fines. domestic-violence-los-angeles-around-the-world-300x187

According to the World Bank, three-quarters of the world’s countries have laws against domestic violence, but enforcement of them can be spotty since abuse is at often culturally (if not legally) sanctioned. At least 45 countries, most in the Middle East and sub-Sahara Africa, have no laws forbidding domestic violence, according to the World Atlas. The countries include Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Latvia, Kenya, Pakistan and Yemen.

•    In Kuwait, 35 percent of women have reported spousal abuse. In a Kuwait Times online article, an attorney from that country says that when it comes to domestic violence, the criminal intent is what matters in the eyes of the law. “If the violator (father, husband or other) hits his wife or child by hand lightly, this is not considered a crime as it’s his right do to so according to Islamic sharia. But if he burns the child or attacks his wife with a knife, it would be clear that the criminal intent was to cause harm. But if he hits his wife while they are fighting, he may claim that he only tried to threaten her and didn’t intend to cause serious harm. The verdict in these cases usually is ‘exchanging blows’ and each of the parties pays a KD 50 fine, as each of them claims self-defense,” the lawyer said.

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domestic-violence-los-angeles-300x300Last night, after a long and heated argument with your spouse, you hit him/ her. You had heard about people who use violence against a spouse, but you deplored it. You never thought you would do it yourself. Now you feel guilty about what you’ve done, frightened that you might do it again and fearful about what the future might bring for you and for your family.

What can you do to prevent this violence from recurring? How can you turn the situation around? There are community resources throughout the Los Angeles area that can teach you how to deal with anger and frustration in more constructive ways. You can also seek out services that will help you get at the root of the problems that are causing the stress in your life and your relationship.

Managing anger to stop the violence

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What would you do if someone you cared for insisted on getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks? Would you call the police and risk their arrest for a DUI in Los Angeles? Would you ignore the situation and simply hope that no one would get hurt?
A 28-year-old woman in Senoi, Georgia, faced that situation in September. In a move that the local police chief called “an act of courage,” the woman got in touch with police and asked for help.dodgen-dui-arrest

According to the story on the Fox5 Atlanta website, Donna Dodgen was driving her daughter and 10-year-old granddaughter when the trio stopped at a local convenience store. The daughter went in to the store and asked the clerk to call police because her mother had been drinking and wasn’t in any condition to drive. (The daughter couldn’t drive herself, because she had previously been in a car accident in which she suffered a head injury.) She told the clerk she was worried about her daughter’s safety and her own. (It’s not clear why she and her daughter didn’t simply get out of the car and refuse to go any further.)

A police officer watched Dodgen leave the parking lot and sit at a green light for 30 seconds without moving. Before too long, he caught up with Dodgen and asked for her driver’s license. Dodgen allegedly kept trying to give him her credit card instead.
Then the officer gave Dodgen a sobriety test, which she reportedly failed. She also smelled of alcohol, according to police. They charged her with DUI, endangering a child under age 14, weaving on the roadway and driving under the minimum speed.

The daughter (who remained unidentified in the news story) told police that her mother had been driving erratically before the convenience store stop, unable to remain in the her lane and attracting the ire of drivers, who honked to signal their displeasure.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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LeVeon-Bell-DUIIf you’re facing DUI charges in Los Angeles, you may begin experiencing negative consequences before the court even hears your case. Consider, for instance, the challenges that confront Pittsburgh Steeler, Le’Veon Bell, who may face a two-game suspension and other sanctions from the league and from his club, as the result of a recent DUI arrest.

Authorities arrested Bell for DUI in August. After police pulled him over, he allegedly admitted to having smoked marijuana earlier in the day and to possessing a bag of the substance. He also allegedly claimed that he was unaware of the law prohibiting driving under the influence of marijuana, claiming he wasn’t “high” enough for the drug to have impaired his driving.

The NFL’s new substance abuse policy imposes a mandatory suspension on players arrested for DUI. The suspension occurs only after a player has failed to resolve the matter within the league’s stated “grace period.” Under this policy, Bell must resolve his DUI charge before November 1 to prevent a suspension from going into effect. However, he may receive a one-game suspension for marijuana possession, regardless of the outcome of the DUI case.

Bell’s Legal Woes — Just the Most Recent among NFL Players

Bell is certainly not the only NFL player who has experienced a run-in with the law in recent months. High-profile cases in which the NFL has suspended or banned players include:

•    Ray Rice. After video footage emerged of running back Rice punching his wife in an elevator, corporate sponsors and fans alike expressed outrage and disbelief. Prior to the release of the footage, the NFL had only punished Rice with a 2 game suspension. After the revelation, however, the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, and the Ravens terminated him.

•    Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Viking running back faces allegations that he abused his 4 year old son by hitting him with a tree branch. The Vikings responded to the horrifying news by deactivating the player until he resolves his legal issues.

An arrest for DUI can be a serious legal matter that can have profound personal and professional consequences. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you defend against such charges and return to work as soon as possible. Contact the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.

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We see (and report on) so many disturbing Los Angeles DUI cases. Unfortunately, these events often seem to blend together.soukvilay-barton-dui-manslaughter

Whether you’ve been following this blog for several weeks or many years, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme: people often make dumb/dangerous decisions to drive DUI and then compound their woes by doing other dumb/dangerous “stuff” after the fact, such as leaving the scene of an accident, spitting in the face of a police officer, etc.

A really distressing case out of Riverside presents a dramatic, deeply disturbing portrait of what can “go wrong” during a DUI. According to witnesses, 37-year-old Soukvilay Barton had been fighting with family members at her Riverside home on the 14000 block of Bush Avenue last Friday evening. In a fog of anger, Ms. Barton hopped into her BMW convertible and attempted to leave the home. Her father, 69-year-old Bounmy Rajsombath, did not want her to get in the car, because she had been drinking. He ran to the driveway to stop her from backing out of the garage, but she did so anyway and struck her father. Barton immediately stopped the car as soon as she realized she injured her dad and collapsed sobbing. Emergency workers rushed Rajsombath to Riverside Community Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police arrested Barton, meanwhile, for DUI and escorted her to the Riverside Police’s Magnolia Station. Reports suggest that she could face enhanced charges, such as DUI manslaughter, in connection with the death of her father.

According to sergeant Dan Reeves, who investigated the tragedy, Rajsombath spent his final moments pleading with his daughter not to drive DUI, before she hit and killed him. The situation speaks to the often forgotten fact that DUIs can tear families asunder, sometimes literally. Obviously, this young woman did not want to hurt or kill her father, but a single bad decision or momentary lapse of reason can lead to lifetimes of agony and remorse, both for the offender (and for the offender’s family) and for the victim (and the victim’s family).

Depending on the nature of a DUI manslaughter, prosecutors can ask for enhanced charges, such as “gross negligence” – a special kind of negligence beyond standard carelessness – that can lead to extra jail time and more penalties.

For help understanding how to deal with your case, call an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group today for sympathetic and sound assistance.
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Getting arrested for lewd conduct in Los Angeles can be a harrowing experience.los-angeles-lewd-conduct-arrest.jpg

Yes, getting arrested for any crime in Southern California is scary. You face the specter of jail time, massive fees and fines, insurance related problems, professional reputation issues, logistical headaches, and on and on.

But lewd conduct charges are particularly vexing! Defendants are often “prejudged” by friends, family members, peers, and the community at large. For some reason, getting a lewd conduct charge often feels like being tarred and feathered. First of all, if you are convicted, you may be saddled with the “sex offender” label for decades, if not for a lifetime. You do not need to be reminded about what this negative label can do in terms of restricting where you can live, wreaking havoc on your personal and professional life, and potentially destroying your self-esteem – not to mention teeing you up for massive trouble if you ever break the law again.

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