How Is Domestic Violence Defined In California?
Domestic violence is usually considered to be some sort of battery committed by someone against their significant other, such as a spouse, a boyfriend or a girlfriend. If it involves two people who are romantically involved, then it’s typically going to be a domestic violence situation. When the police respond to domestic violence calls, they will try to make a determination as to who the aggressor was. They will usually arrest the aggressor and bail will be set at $50,000. If it wasn’t that serious, then the bail could be set at $20,000. There will definitely be some type of a bail set so that the aggressor has time to cool off.
Sometimes these situations are political in nature. The police are trying to protect themselves, because if they don’t do anything about it and someone ends up being killed or seriously injured, then it is going to be their fault. Their supervisor’s going to say, “You guys were out there, why didn’t you do something about this?” There are special prosecution units to prosecute these types of cases in LA. It’s called the “VIC” unit, which is the unit that prosecutes people who are involved in domestic violence.
How Do Police Determine The Aggressor In A Domestic Violence Scenario?
It’s not always easy for the police to determine who the aggressor is in a domestic violence situation. A person can be acting very aggressively, yelling and screaming without having done anything criminal in nature. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy for the police to figure out who the aggressor is because it’s going to be the person who acted illegally. When determining who the aggressor is in a domestic violence situation, it’s not necessarily the person who initiates an argument by yelling or calling the other person a name; it’s the person who becomes physically violent in an unlawful way. I’d say that in about 95 percent of the cases, the police do not have a problem identifying who the aggressor is.
It becomes more difficult when there has been a physical fight between two people and both parties are injured. Under those circumstances, the police will often call their sergeant or commander to have them make the decision of who to arrest. It is not uncommon for the police to arrest the wrong person. A case like that will usually end up getting dismissed once the city attorney or district attorney looks at everything and after I talk to them about it. Other times, we will have to fight the case. Once the facts of the case come out, they will realize that they made a bad judgment call and arrested the wrong person.
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