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California law is decidedly severe when it comes to crimes of domestic violence—to the point that even being charged with a DV offDV-los-angelesense should evoke a sense of fear. Whether you are guilty or wrongfully accused, if a bad situation at home results in being charged with a crime, you should be as informed as possible about each charge, and its possible penalties, so you know what to expect and how to be prepared.

To that end, we’ve compiled the following catalogue of some of the more common domestic violence crimes, as defined by the California Penal Code.

Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant

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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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When you have the right app, your cell phone can be a handy tool in helping you avoid a DUI charge.9-4-17-DUI-los-angeles-apps-300x169

• Planning a night out with friends? There are apps that will help you estimate your blood alcohol content and provide a rough estimate of your BAC based on how many drinks you’ve had.

• Are you sure that you’ve consumed too much to get behind the wheel? Download a few apps that can help you snag a ride home so you don’t have to drive.

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Breaking the cycle of domestic violence has been difficult. Studies have shown that even the most widely-used program for domestic abuse intervention, the Duluth Model, has not been successful in reducing the rate of recidivism for violent offenders.Mindfulness-to-combat-domestic-violence-300x129

But there is one approach that might be more successful. Although they are not designed specifically to reduce incidences of domestic violence, programs that teach people mindfulness and meditation have shown some promise in reducing incidences of violence in several settings.

Stop and think

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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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Judges will often grant postponements of cases involving DUI in Los Angeles if the prosecutor or the defending lawyer can provide a good reason for the delay. But a judge in Shasta County, California, finally reached her limit on granting reprieves and ordered a defendant to be ready for her day in court. anderson_dui

According to the Record Searchlight, Judge Cara Beatty was determined that Virginia Lyn Anderson of Redding, California, would have her day in court during the last week in October. Police say that Anderson was driving under the influence of methamphetamine and other drugs back in April 2014 when she collided with a motorcycle ridden by Hayley Marie Riggins. The crash killed Riggins, 27.

Anderson was initially supposed to stand trial in November 2014, but the judge has postponed her trial seven times since then. Most recently, the defense sought to get the trial postponed another time while they were appealing the specific charges filed against Anderson.

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Judges will often waive jail time and place drivers on probation when they’re charged with a first-offense DUI in Los Angeles. But some people don’t appreciate that kind of leniency; they take advantage of it. What’s worse, the ingrates often don’t receive any punishment.ethan-couch-dui-los-angeles

Ethan Couch of Tarrant County, Texas, made international headlines after his attorneys claimed that he was suffering from “affluenza” when he killed four people in a horrific DUI accident in 2013. (According to the lawyer, Couch wasn’t to blame because his family’s money had shielded him from the consequences of other bad behavior.)

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With the recent passage of a law permitting the use of medical marijuana in California, police officers will soon be dealing with its effects on arrests for DUI in Los Angeles. Will someone using cannabis for medical reasons be able to avoid DUI charges? A recent ruling by Arizona’s Supreme Court has denied medical marijuana users in that state an automatic out on DUI charges.
The Arizona court case stems from an appeal by two women, Kristina Dobson and Marvelle Anderson, arrested for DUI in separate incidents. Police originally charged them under two of Arizona’s DUI statutes. An A1 refers to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a drug—in other words, when impaired. An A3 charge concerns the operation of a motor vehicle when a person has a detectable amount of a drug in their system.a1-los-angeles-DUI

Prosecutors eventually threw out the A1 charges against each woman but won convictions on the A3 charges. The women contested their convictions in Arizona’s appeals court, saying that the medical marijuana statute permitted them to have the drug in their systems. The appeals court ruled against them.

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Your Los Angeles DUI shook you up, particularly if it led to an accident and injuries. However, it can be helpful to see your incident in context. To that end, let’s take a brief tour for five unbelievably crazy truck accidents:crazy-truck-accident-dui-los-angeles

1. Semi Sandwich

On a foggy morning in January 2015, Oregon driver Kaleb Whitby ended up in every motorist’s worst nightmare when he was pinned between two semi-trucks on the icy interstate. Whitby explained that he saw the first semi-truck jackknife in front of him on the road, which caused him to plow into the back of the semi and flip his pickup. The driver described hopelessly gripping the steering wheel as the second semi crushed his pickup like a can of soda. Miraculously, Whitby sustained only minor bruising from the accident, while only a dozen of the other people involved sustained injuries.

2. Truck Meets Road Sign

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The aftermath of Los Angeles DUI accidents can be quite traumatic and confusing. DUI suspects can make errors or engage in dumb behaviors that can put people (and police officers) at risk of injury and lead to criminal charges. Police officers and other responders can also make errors and misjudgments, which can complicate the situation.christopher-anderson-DUI-los-angeles

One dramatic and very sad story out of Highland Park, Illinois, illustrates the complexities that often accompany DUI arrests. According to local news sources, a man from Waukegan died at a local hospital after police officers shot him. Here’s how the scenario reportedly unfolded. An alleged DUI accident on Illinois Route 94 attracted the attention of Illinois State Police, who found two injured passengers, Christopher Anderson, 27-year-old, and his 9-year-old daughter, Alaysia. Later that morning, hospital staff called police officers to respond to a very aggressive patient, who allegedly brandished a handgun, demanding to see his daughter. Police responded by shooting Anderson fatally.

The incident stoked alarm from some members of the community. The local paper quoted community activist Ralph Peterson, who asked: “how could a 27-year-old whose daughter is seeking medical attention end up dead?” Of course, if the man, indeed, had pulled a gun on hospital workers in an aggressive manner, the police obviously had a right to respond and protect themselves as well as any nurses, doctors and patients in harm’s way.

Stories like this remind us of how important it is to collect quality evidence. Did the police err or engage in misjudgments? Were the breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests and other assessments used by authorities fair and accurate?

To solve the puzzle of your criminal defense, trust an experienced, highly qualified Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut spent over 14 years working as a prosecutor, and he has the knowledge and relationships you need to build an effective defense.

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