The Los Angeles Police Department is reporting concern that domestic violence has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
Everyone is under stress and any issues that people had with their marriage or relationship before the crisis are only exacerbated during the crisis. Even the strongest relationships are put to the test. People are cooped up together in their homes with nowhere to go.
Domestic violence is a difficult subject to discuss. I’ve represented people in domestic violence cases for over a decade, and while yes, of course, there are cases in which someone is a victim of terrible ongoing abuse and violence, sometimes it is just a matter of a moment that got out of control.
Tempers flare, maybe there’s been too much drinking, one partner gets frustrated and shoves someone, or it’s “mutual combat” when both parties are fighting each other. Sometimes it’s a screaming and shoving situation and a neighbor calls the police.
Whatever the circumstances, here is what you need to know. When the police show up, they will separate the couple and question each person separately. In California, if one person tells the police that the other person put hands on them or threw something at them and made contact, even if there is no injury, that person will be arrested. Period. If both people say they were scrapping with each other, the police generally arrest the person with lesser or no injuries. That’s how it is. There’s no talking your way out of it. The person arrested will be taken to jail and bail
will be set.
Can these cases be resolved? Of course. People are under so much pressure right now and what the prosecutors and the court want to see that the person accused is not a true danger, that the relationship is not abusive, and that there are interventions and counseling in place to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
The problem, of course, is that a domestic violence conviction – even a misdemeanor conviction – can have serious collateral consequences. There can be terrible immigration consequences. There can be employment consequences. Even while the case is pending, a couple may not be allowed to live together or even see each other.
This is why it is essential for anyone facing domestic violence charges, even if it feels like everything is blown our of proportion, to contact an attorney who will stand with you or your loved one and put in the work to resolve the case so that it won’t impact your future and let you move on.
For immediate help, you can call me, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Jerod Gunsberg, at (323) 633-3423 or contact me via the secure contact form on this page for a free and confidential consultation and we’ll schedule a time to discuss your case.