Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, has evolved over the years as it relates to the term itself and the law as well.  The domestic violence laws in the State of California date back to the late 70’s but mostly went into affect in the 90’s. Most police agencies jumped on the fact they could charge people with a felony as long as the elements matched, “traumatic injury.”  This gave the police authority to make arbitrary decisions with little question.  Well, over time what has happened is…. police officers are arresting off duty police officers for the felonious charge of domestic violence mostly because they are mandated to write a report of the incident, therefore, they believe if they have to write a report they can get a felony stat behind it as well.  Well, this poor way of thinking has ruined many officers careers especially if they get convicted. Most cases involving off duty police officers, do not rise to the level of an arrest….example…the male half leaving out the door and the female half jumps in the way of the threshold of the door and the male half has to squeeze by….and just because the male half physically brushed up against the female half… DOES NOT CONSTITUTE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

We have defended many off duty officers and have so far won all of our cases.  What happens is the spouse or co-inhabitant girlfriend/boyfriend will later decide they no longer want to prosecute but what happens is the over zealous district attorney will say….no and that the state will take up the charges regardless if the victim refuses to prosecute or testify.  Let me tell you that is a big bluff, a jury really doesn’t care if the district attorney files the charge, if they do not see a victim in court willing to testify…the case gets dismissed.  Do not allow any police officer convince you the state will take up charges or any district attorney for that matter.  They are bluffing, and in the end you will see the jury will not convict if there is no physical victim in court to give their side of the story.  Most district attorneys know this and will not take the case to trial in fear they will lose, and generally speaking they do.  Take a look at some of the statistical data below.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) says 196,880 incidents of domestic
violence were reported to local law enforcement agencies in 2000. Between 1990 and
2000, statewide arrests for Penal Code section 273.5 (corporal injury on a spouse or
cohabitant) increased 17 percent, from 43,760 to 51,225. Many cases are dismissed
due to victims who refuse to testify, or were untruthful from the onset.

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