Articles Posted in Los Angeles Warrants

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teenage-DV-defense-200x300We typically think of domestic violence as occurring between married couples, live-in partners, adults who are dating, etc. But what happens when a teenager is arrested and charged with domestic violence? Perhaps the teen got into a physical altercation with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or maybe the teen allegedly attacked a parent, sibling, or another relative. What does the process look like then?

If you are a teenager facing domestic violence charges—or a parent with a teenager who’s been charged—you may naturally feel some apprehension about what to expect. Whether this was a simple misunderstanding or someone actually crossed a legal line, how will these criminal charges affect your life and future, or that of your child?

Juvenile or Adult?

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DV-red-flags-300x172Domestic violence is more common in America than anyone is comfortable admitting. The latest estimates from the CDC say 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men suffer from some form of intimate partner violence. And over the past few months, reports across the board have consistently told us that domestic violence rates are increasing dramatically due to the pandemic. That’s enough to categorize domestic violence as a public health crisis.

And yet, it’s a public health crisis that is one-hundred percent preventable.

Domestic violence doesn’t happen arbitrarily or in a vacuum. No one simply wakes up in the morning, randomly decides to become violent with their partner, and finds themselves under arrest by evening. There are almost always warning signs or “red flags” that usually occur in advance of an altercation that ends with domestic violence charges. If you can see these red flags and take preventative action early, you can save yourself and your family a lot of pain, heartache, and stress. Let’s talk about some of these “red flags” and what you can do to reduce the risks.

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c-12559-1598658708762-040dd57758769a27d6695cd814003e81-300x200Domestic violence rarely takes place in a vacuum. Long before law enforcement gets involved and makes an arrest, there are usually underlying factors at work in the household that create conditions that are just primed for an argument or escalating tensions to get out of hand. These risk factors can include things like stress, emotional turmoil, mental illness, substance abuse, financial worries, and a slew of other possible issues.

During this ongoing pandemic, families are continuing to spend lots of time at home or in quarantine. That fact alone can put the family at higher risk for those underlying factors to eventually erupt into violence. The specific issues may be different in every household. Still, if you can identify these factors and find constructive ways to deal with them, you can often break the cycle of escalation and make your family safer at home.

To help with this process, we’ve compiled a list of programs and resources available to Los Angeles-area residents. Some of these resources are government-funded and operated, while others may be private organizations—and this is by no means an exhaustive list. But if you believe your family could be at heightened risk, this list will hopefully provide a starting point to get the help you need.

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DV-attorney-defense-Los-Angeles-1-300x200When we talk about cases of domestic violence under California law, in most situations we’re referring to violence or abuse between “intimate partners,”—that is, spouses, ex-spouses, domestic partners, and current and former dating relationships. But of course, these aren’t the only family relationships in which domestic violence can occur. Siblings may become violent toward one another. Violence may also be directed toward (or emanate from) aunts, nephews, grandparents, step-parents…the list goes on.

Domestic violence within these relationships may not always be easy to resolve. Unlike spousal or dating relationships which may be severed by separation and divorce, inter-family DV situations may touch many other mutual relationships, either through blood or marriage. It might not be as simple to “cut off” a particular relationship or create a long-term physical separation between two parties, especially when the larger family is concerned. The effects of a violent or abusive relationship within these ranks may reverberate within the family for years to come. Let’s talk about how the law addresses domestic violence of these types, then discuss the long-term implications for families and ways to bring healing.

The Legal Piece

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Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-9-300x200Domestic 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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Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-10-300x200If 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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Los-Angeles-Domestic-Violence-Defense-13-300x200Despite 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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Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Attorney-25-300x200When you get pulled over by police and asked to perform a field sobriety test, the issue of DUI becomes very real to you and affects you directly. However, sometimes it helps to put the topic in a greater context. How has DUI enforcement changed over the years? How does drug DUI now come into play with the legalization of pot in California and other states? Are the current laws and technologies doing a good job in deterring people from making a mistake? If not, what can we do better?

To explore these questions, let’s take a look at some the most significant DUI stories from the past decade—not just high profile cases like celebrity arrests, but stories that help paint a picture of different aspects of the issue—to see what we can learn from them. We’ll start with a recent news story that actually discusses an eye-opening trend over the past decade.

1. DUI Convictions Drop, DUI Dismissals on the Rise

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“You can’t arrest me, I’m a rockstar.” –Sid Vicious

Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Lawyer-40-200x300Getting arrested on suspicion of DUI is not a pleasant experience. Resisting the police, however, almost always makes a bad situation worse. As a case in point, let’s look at the recent charges against 48-year-old actor Vince Vaughn.

On the early morning of June 10, Vince Vaughn was stopped at a DUI checkpoint, where he was subsequently arrested. Last month, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Vaughn was facing three misdemeanor charges: driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher and refusing to comply with a peace officer.

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Los-Angeles-DUI-Defense-Lawyer-42-300x200Let’s start by acknowledging the obvious: No one begins with the express intention, “I’m going to get arrested for DUI tonight.” Although sadly, some people don’t care one way or the other, the average person doesn’t set out with an intent to drive under the influence. Usually, a DUI arrest happens as a result of bad judgment, bad choices, unforeseen circumstances or a combination of these things.

Unfortunately, once you’ve been arrested, you can’t hit the “rewind” button on the bad choices that led to that moment. Additionally, if your arrest ends in a conviction, the consequences may be long-lasting and permanent. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes—so let’s discuss a few of the ill-advised ways people set themselves up for DUI and how to avoid them.

1. Hanging Out with the Wrong People

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