Articles Posted in Punishment

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If you’ve been recently charged with domestic violence, your life could become quite complicated very quickly, especially if convicted. However, this time can also be a teaching moment—an opportunity to step back from this dark chapter and learn a more productive way of thinking and communicating.NVC-domestic-violence-300x214

The reasons why we humans sometimes turn to violence and aggression are too numerous and complex to explain here—nor are we qualified to delve into the psychology behind it. However, as the University of Michigan points out, domestic violence typically occurs as a repeating cycle, one that begins with a breakdown of communication. It naturally follows that if couples can create meaningful channels of communication, the cycle of domestic violence may be interrupted. The problem in many cases is that one or the other partner doesn’t understand the best ways to communicate—and the resulting frustration may erupt into aggression.

In the 1960s, an American psychologist named Marshall Rosenberg—himself a domestic violence victim from childhood—developed a process called Nonviolent Communication. The underlying theory behind this approach is that humans are innately compassionate, and violence is a learned behavior that develops from the inability to communicate needs effectively. Rosenberg utilized these principles quite effectively as a mediator to diffuse tensions between rioting college students and college administrators in the turbulent ’60s, as well as in peacemaking efforts during the desegregation process of the civil rights era. Since those days, many have utilized these principles to learn to communicate more compassionately and effectively.

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For many people who find themselves facing domestic violence charges, the problem doesn’t usually begin with the act of violence itself. For most, that catalyst is anger. The violence occurs as an end result of the person’s inability to control the angry emotions welling up inside.anger-300x215

If you’re convicted of a domestic violence charge in California, and sentenced to probation instead of jail, chances are you’ll also be required to attend a “batterer’s class” or some sort of anger management counseling as part of your sentence. But are anger management programs truly effective, and can they help reduce the chances of a repeat offense?

As with most issues, the answer to this question isn’t a clear “yes, it works” or “no, it doesn’t.” The effectiveness of any anger management course depends as much on the cooperation of the participant as it does the nature of the course itself. Modern psychology has recommended a variety of approaches to anger management; some have proven more fruitful than others, and experts now feel some traditional approaches have actually backfired.

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On January 1, 2018, California officially became the eighth state to legalize cannabis for recreational use—a move that USA Today pCalifornia-marijuana-DUI-los-angeles-300x197redicts will cause an economic “gold rush” in the state worth up to $5.1 billion in its first year. While you shouldn’t expect the Los Angeles smog in general to suddenly take on a familiar pungent smell, don’t be surprised to see a few more “superstores” popping up on your way to work. You may also need to be a bit more wary of other drivers on the roadways, as law enforcement officials have expressed concerns about the possibility of more accidents caused by impaired drivers. (More on that point in a moment.)

That all being said, if you plan to take advantage of legalized pot, you should understand that the new California marijuana laws don’t add up to a free-for-all for partakers and enthusiasts. Let’s look at some of the more important caveats you should keep in mind.

There’s a Limit to What You Can Carry

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You’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime. You’re worried about your future, your relationships and your freedom. Will you have to go to jail? Will your significant other take you back? How can you avoid overly-harsh punishment or refute what you believe are baseless accusations against you?global-domestic-violence-stats-300x300

While analyzing all these worries, it’s easy to feel isolated. The cultural taboo against domestic violence–especially alleged attacks on children–is profound in the United States. And understandably so. Even if you committed a “bad” act in a moment of passion or weakness, you (hopefully!) don’t wish for a more violent world. But obtaining compassion from friends and family–or even basic understanding–in the wake of DV charges can be hard.

You might find it useful to look outside of your situation and take a 20,000 foot view. How do other countries and cultures grapple with the challenges of domestic violence? What do they do (or fail to do) to protect and be sensitive to victims? What safeguards do they have in place (or not) to ensure fair treatment of the accused?

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If you’ve been charged with any crime—whether the charge is Los Angeles DUI, domestic abuse or something else—neither the prosecutor nor your defense attorney will rely solely on physical evidence to prove your guilt or innocence. Much of the evidence presented comes in the form of verbal testimony from witnesses—people who saw what happened, people who can attest to your whereabouts, experts called to weigh in on certain matters, etc. The problem is this: Verbal testimony is based mostly on memory, and memory can be a fleeting thing.rashomon-defense-los-angeles-DUI

And the result is that, many times, when different witnesses offer conflicting testimony, it doesn’t necessarily mean one of them is intentionally lying. Sometimes it’s simply that those people remember the events differently. The jury then has the unhappy task of figuring out the truth, by listening to these alternative versions.

The Science of Memory and the “Rashomon Effect”

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metoo-los-angeles-300x187By most accounts, 2017 has been a particularly turbulent year. From political upheaval at home to nuclear threats abroad; from devastating hurricanes to fires; from mass shootings to Harvey Weinstein (and dozens more exposed and felled by #metoo); it seems like one headline continues to outdo the next.

Amid all the upheaval, this year has also seen some important news stories about domestic violence, some of which even tie in to recent high-profile stories (for example, the church shooting in Sutherland Springs). Let’s look at a few of the most notable domestic violence news stories for 2017 and see what we can learn from them.

Red Sox Pitcher Steven Wright Arrested for Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is a serious matter here in California. The laws are strict, tolerance is low to nonexistent, and the overwhelming response is such that being accused of it can dramatically alter your life, even if you’re not guilty. If you got into a mild altercation with your spouse that somehow got construed to be domestic violence, your private disagreement could be instantly ranked alongside major felonies like assault or murder.DV-defense-los-angeles-options

Suffice it to say that when you’re accused of this crime, choosing the right defense strategy may be critical to your future, which is why you need a seasoned criminal defense attorney to help you map out a plan of action while representing your interests in court. Let’s take a look at some of the most common and effective defenses against charges of domestic violence, and under what circumstances it’s appropriate to use them.

False Accusation

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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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wet-reckless-Los-Angeles-DUIPolice have charged you with a DUI, and now you’ve got a lot of questions and concerns.

• Exactly what do the charges against you mean?

• What legal issues are you facing?

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Have you heard the one about the driver who was arrested for DUI because he had a caffeine high? Or about the state legislator who successfully argued that cough syrup and a breath spray caused a false positive DUI breathalyzer reading?auto-brewery-dui-300x169

While law enforcement officers and courts generally accept breathalyzer tests as proof that someone was driving under the influence, those tests can sometimes give false positive readings. As absurd as these stories sound, to the people wrongfully arrested for DUIs, these incidents are no laughing matter.

Betrayed by their bodies

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