Articles Tagged with los angeles domestic violence defense

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school-closures-domestic-violence-240x300As we come upon the one-year mark of the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we can see some disturbing trends among families trying to cope. While quarantines, school closures, and social distancing have been necessary to protect the public at large, social workers and domestic violence advocates have long been warning of another danger lurking within at-risk families living in forced isolation: a significant increase in domestic violence. In other words, our attempts to mitigate the COVID health crisis may be creating a health crisis of a completely different kind—one that is just as harmful and even deadly. As a result, an increased number of people, some of whom have no history of domestic violence, have found themselves arrested and facing charges.

This issue has become such a point of concern that some are referring to it as a “pandemic within the pandemic.” Even with vaccinations underway and hope on the horizon, the pandemic, along with its on-again, off-again lockdowns, have changed our living patterns and created “pressure-cooker” situations for many households with fewer options for releasing the pressure or getting help. Let’s take a closer look at this issue—not just the pandemic itself, but how the safety measures put in place are creating new risks for many households.

Increased Risks from School Closures

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Los-Angeles-domestic-violence2-300x200No matter the circumstances, being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence is a scary matter. It can be highly disruptive to your family, your job, your routine—and if you’re convicted of a crime, possibly your future, as well. Just being arrested, especially if it’s unexpected, can fill you with uncertainty. What kind of charges are you facing? Will you be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or a combination of the two?

In the State of California, every charge of domestic violence is serious, but some instances are treated as misdemeanors and some as felonies—each with vastly different ramifications if you’re convicted. Understanding what you may be charged with can help you go into the judicial process more informed and better prepared. Let’s unpack this topic and explore which types of domestic violence charges are usually tried as misdemeanors and which as felonies.

Differences between Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

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Argument-leading-to-domestic-violence-arrest-201x300It happens more often than you might think. You get into a heated discussion with your spouse, partner, or significant other. Tempers flare, voices are raised, tensions escalate. You’re now in a shouting match—perhaps loud enough to get the attention of the neighbors. Concerned, someone calls the police. Before you realize it, one of you is arrested and carried off on suspicion of domestic violence.

This type of scenario can be baffling, confusing, and frightening—for one or both of the people involved. Perhaps in your mind—and even in the mind of your partner—the two of you were just having a fight, a lover’s spat. Maybe no punches were even thrown. Was it, in fact, domestic violence? Is there enough evidence for the charges to stick? At what point does a basic family argument cross the line into domestic violence? Let’s unpack this question a little, looking at it first through the eyes of California law, and then from the standpoint of real life.

What the Law Says

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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.

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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