Articles Tagged with domestic violence

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tingey-injury-law-firm-veNb0DDegzE-unsplash-300x200Facing a domestic violence charge in California can be a deeply unsettling and even frightening experience. The immediate whirlwind of legal complexities and the potential for life-altering consequences might leave you overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. Even so, perhaps in your mind, this is just a misunderstanding of an argument with your significant other that got out of hand. Or maybe you’ve been charged only with misdemeanor domestic battery, a seemingly minor offense that rarely results in jail time for first-time offenders. You might even feel like this could all “go away” if you just “explain yourself” to the judge. Should you really bother with hiring an attorney to help you navigate this situation?

Unless you are willing to risk serious consequences for your future, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” Without legal help, even the most “minor” of domestic violence offenses can result in major short-term and long-term ramifications that can complicate your life for many years to come. Let’s go into a bit more detail about how California law treats domestic violence and why having a domestic violence defense attorney can help minimize the risks to your future.

California’s Stance on Domestic Violence

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kelly-sikkema-1YeQl23dvJI-unsplash-200x300When family disagreements escalate into accusations of domestic violence, it’s not uncommon for the accusing partner to have a change of heart after the fact and decide not to press charges or testify. If you’re the one accused, this may seem like good news at first–but in California, it does not necessarily mean you won’t still face criminal charges or be convicted of domestic violence. The reason for this is that domestic violence allegations are not a civil matter but a criminal one–meaning it’s the state that brings a claim against you, not your accuser. If prosecutors find other evidence that domestic violence occurred, they don’t necessarily need the accuser to testify. Let’s delve into why prosecutors sometimes move ahead with domestic violence cases without the testimony of the alleged victim, what evidence might be presented, and how a defense attorney might address that evidence.

Why Prosecutors Might Decide to File Charges Without the Testimony of the Victim

Prosecutors may decide to proceed with domestic violence charges even if the accuser declines to testify for several reasons, each rooted in the commitment to uphold justice and protect individuals from harm. These include but are not limited to, the following.

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istrfry-marcus-i9ikCx-0Pk8-unsplash-300x169Domestic violence doesn’t occur in a vacuum; physical contact is rarely a one-way street where the assailant attacks while the victim does nothing. Our instinct is to respond physically to defend ourselves against an attacker, sometimes to the point of striking back accordingly. However, in California, when police respond to a domestic violence call and conduct an investigation, they are required by law to arrest someone if they see evidence that violence occurred. Unfortunately, sometimes, they make wrong assumptions and arrest the wrong person. Thus, it’s not uncommon for someone to be charged with domestic violence when they are actually defending themselves against their partner. 

This is a challenging and complex situation to navigate. On one hand, you were simply trying to protect yourself in the heat of the moment. On the other hand, the evidence and common assumptions may work against you even though you are innocent. This wrong assumption can also be reinforced if your partner decides to “play the victim” to shield themselves from scrutiny. 

That being said, if you were truly defending yourself, the law is on your side; you just need a skillful criminal defense attorney to navigate the situation. Let’s discuss this common dilemma and discuss your options.

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pexels-shvets-production-7176317-300x200Addiction and domestic violence are two complex issues that, unfortunately, often intersect–and more often than you might think. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that as many as 55 percent of all domestic abuse incidents occur after the perpetrator was drinking–and surveys of domestic violence victims suggest that number is as high as 67 percent. 

Suffice it to say that if you’re facing accusations of domestic violence and are grappling with drug or alcohol addiction, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for someone struggling with substance abuse to act out of character while under the influence. Some may even “black out” and not even remember the incident–which makes it quite unnerving for them to find themselves facing criminal charges and protective orders after the fact. If this describes you, it’s crucial to approach this moment with honesty and a desire for change. Let’s explore the impact of drug and alcohol addiction on domestic violence to help unravel how you got here–and, more importantly, what you can do to remedy the situation.

The Link Between Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence

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pexels-katrin-bolovtsova-6077189-200x300The world of entertainment was rocked recently by the news of Jonathan Majors, a rising star known for his roles in Creed III and Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, being convicted last month of misdemeanor assault stemming from an altercation with his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari earlier in the year. Despite the jury convicting Majors of a lesser charge than the prosecution alleged, Majors was dropped by both Marvel and Disney Pictures within hours of the verdict. This case was not only a high-profile legal battle but also a stark reminder of the serious consequences of domestic violence allegations. Let’s review this important case to see what lessons we can learn.

Overview of the Case

Jonathan Majors faced accusations of assaulting Jabbari during a confrontation in New York City in March 2023. Jabbari claimed that Majors attacked her in a car, causing her significant pain. However, Majors’ defense painted a different picture, stating that Jabbari was the aggressor and that he was merely trying to regain his phone and ensure his safety after Jabbari noticed a text conversation with another woman.

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pexels-liza-summer-6382704-200x300If you’ve recently been arrested for domestic violence charges in California and you’re not quite sure how it happened…you’re not alone. For many people, getting arrested or charged with a crime is a wake-up call. Maybe it was an argument that got out of hand in your mind. Perhaps this is your first domestic violence offense–or maybe it’s just the first time your partner called the cops. Maybe you’ve been here before–and you’re not sure why you keep crossing the line into physical violence. If so, here’s a question to ponder: Do you suffer from low self-esteem?

Granted, if you’ve just been arrested, your opinion of yourself is likely quite low at the moment. But think beyond this moment–how do you feel about yourself in general?

The reason we’re asking is that domestic violence doesn’t happen in a vacuum, nor is it a random occurrence. It happens because of something that lies beneath–and in many cases, it is driven by a significantly low sense of self-worth. Let’s discuss this link further and discuss possible solutions that may help.

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pexels-karolina-grabowska-4386433-200x300There’s no denying it: we live in very stressful times. When the pressure is on, we may respond in ways we would not otherwise. Financial stress, in particular, can be especially overwhelming in this day and age. For many individuals, especially those who may struggle with anger issues, this can unfortunately increase the risk of aggression.

Perhaps you’ve struggled lately under the weight of stress. Maybe it got the better of you, and you took it out on your spouse or partner. Maybe things got physical, and you’re now charged with domestic battery–or maybe your partner legitimately felt threatened and became fearful that you would harm them. If you’re now facing charges of domestic violence, the first step in righting the situation is to understand what happened and how you might prevent a recurrence. Let’s take a closer look at the role of stress in general–and financial strain, in particular–on the risk of domestic violence in families.

The Prevalence of Stress

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dev-asangbam-_sh9vkVbVgo-unsplash-200x300If you’ve been arrested or charged with domestic battery, criminal threats, or other forms of domestic violence, the one thing that could make matters worse is not understanding how or why it happened. How, exactly, did you get here? Perhaps you have some anger issues, but you never expected an argument with your partner to escalate to an arrest. Or maybe you’ve been struggling with your mental health but never formally diagnosed with any condition. This begs the question: can an undiagnosed mental illness trigger domestic violence?

In short, yes, it’s possible for an undiagnosed mental illness to contribute to violent behavior in a relationship. Not all cases of domestic violence are as straightforward as they seem, and in some instances, undiagnosed mental illnesses play a significant role in provoking aggressive or violent behavior. While there is no direct causation between mental illness and domestic violence, certain conditions can increase the risk of aggressive or violent behavior. This is especially true for individuals with a history of anger management issues or difficulty controlling their emotions. Let’s explore this issue in a little more detail to provide more perspective.

The Prevalence of Undiagnosed Mental Illness

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pexels-gustavo-fring-6870555-300x200Maybe you never thought you’d find yourself in this situation: arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and facing possible criminal charges. In your mind, perhaps it was just an argument that got out of hand. Maybe this is the first time it’s happened. Or possibly it’s happened before. Maybe–heaven forbid–it points to a pattern of abuse. Of course, the first order of business is to navigate the legal issues surrounding your arrest and charges–but what about afterward? If you have a problem, what steps can you take toward treatment to ensure you don’t keep hurting the people you love?

In the State of California, if this is your first domestic violence offense, the first question about treatment might be answered for you. If you are convicted, you will likely be mandated to attend a state-approved Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP) for the next year as a condition of probation. But there’s been some question about the overall effectiveness of these programs–they seem to work well for some, not so much for others. What if you avoid conviction and aren’t mandated to attend a BIP, but you know there’s still an issue? Or what if you want to take responsibility for your own recovery, whether or not you attend a BIP? 

The good news is that you do have some options. The actual type of treatment you should choose will depend in part on your personal circumstances, your background, and any root issues that may be triggering your violent behavior. Let’s explore some of the treatment options available to you.

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ksenia-makagonova-9y6oH2qHai0-unsplash-200x300It’s a devastating, humiliating scenario that happens more often than we might think. You’re engaged in a heated discussion with your significant other–possibly outside or with the windows open in your home. Things get a bit out of hand. Not long after, there’s a knock on the door. It’s the police; a neighbor heard your argument and called 911. Next thing you know, you’re under arrest for suspected domestic battery.

Despite the numerous studies about the so-called “bystander effect” (suggesting that people in groups are less likely to intervene when someone is in trouble), the fact remains that many bystanders will intervene if they suspect domestic violence (as many as 85 percent of people will respond if they feel they are the only one who can help). There is also a current movement in our modern culture that encourages bystander intervention. In short, if someone hears or witnesses suspected domestic violence, there’s a strong likelihood that they will call the police. And in California, law enforcement is required to make an arrest if they see probable cause of violence when they arrive on the scene. Let’s discuss this dynamic, explore the role of bystanders in suspected domestic violence cases, and talk about your options if a bystander reports you.

Who Can Report Domestic Violence and Why They Might Do So?

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