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Domestic Violence



FACTORS TO CONSIDER FOR SUCCESSFUL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE IN LOS ANGELES

Spousal abuse or domestic violence related cases are one of the most commonly charged crimes in Los Angeles.  As we know, people get in arguments all the time and when they turn violent, the police are called out and faced with dealing with the problem.  To further complicate matters, law enforcement has seen a political backlash that has put pressure on them to do something significant when they go out to the scene of a domestic violence incident.  That something significant is to arrest someone, put them in jail and make them post a $50,000 dollar bail to get out!

Now in LA, the polices’ marching orders from the top officials is to arrest who they deem as the “aggressor” in the the argument.  This can be a little tricky for them to figure out.  Tempers are usually high, people are upset and not all the truth typically comes out of their mouth.  This leaves the police to make decisions in dealing with a not so easy situation.  Suffice to say, they do not always make the right decisions and this is where your criminal defense attorney is necessary to turn the tide and get your version of events out to the powers that be.  How they usually break the tie is by looking to see who has the worst injury and then arresting the other person.  Of course this does not always achieve the right result.

Over the course of the past 25 years I have been defending these cases and let me tell you I have seen it all.  I can not tell you how many times I have had to explain to people that just because your significant other wants to take back everything they said in the heat of the moment, does not mean the prosecutors will dismiss the case.  If that was the reality of things, they they would probably dismiss 80% of the cases they filed.  The case will have to be resolved in another way.  How the domestic violence case is dealt with in Los Angeles County depends on the posture of the case and the strength of the prosecution’s evidence.  If there are no injuries on the alleged victim, their story does not make sense and they are not willing to cooperate with the prosecutors, then this will be a tough road for the government to get a conviction under these circumstances.  However, not all cases are like this and there are a myriad of different nuances that present themselves.  This is where the best criminal defense attorneys are invaluable in figuring out what to do and how to defend the case the right way.

When I meet with clients, I like to get all of the facts out on the table.  This includes the good, the bad and the ugly of what happened.  Putting a spin on things really doesn’t do us any good.  I need the details of what happened and I need them from the police’s perspective, so I can assess if we can effectively counter them.  Just giving me your side of the story ends up leaving important pieces of the puzzle out of the equation and it is difficult to truly craft a solution.  Once we have everything out related to the incident, then we can set about figuring out what needs to be done to achieve the best result in the case.  Should it go to trial?  Is this a case that should be negotiated?  To answer these questions, we must have an honest conversation and then I can use my years of experience and the background of having done many jury trials to assist in figuring out the right moves to make.

PENAL CODE SECTION 273.5 – THE LAW RELATED TO A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE IN LOS ANGELES

In order to be charged and convicted of a domestic violence case, the prosecutors must prove that you inflicted a physical injury on the person of your spouse.  Of course this has to be done in an unlawful manner.  This is where the rub comes in because there are many circumstances where a spouse is injured during an argument and the other spouse is trying to defend themselves during the attack of the spouse that is now the alleged victim in a domestic violence prosecution.  If someone attacks you, you are allowed to use reasonable force to defend yourself.  The question becomes what it reasonable under the totality of the circumstances in your case and how do you prove your version of events when your spouse told a crazy story while wrapped up in the emotions of the situation and faced with the police grilling them over.

Domestic Violence is the mental, physical and/or verbal abuse of a spouse, child, family member, cohabitant or loved one. It may involve kicking, hitting, punching, pushing, name calling and intimidation. Domestic violence is considered to be a very aggressive crime in nature and is one of many violent crimes that often go unreported as well as the more underestimated crimes of intimidation, stalking, and criminal threats. Due to this, it is important to work with an experienced defense attorney who can protect your rights if you are accused of domestic violence.

If you have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence, call a domestic abuse lawyer at our law firm to discuss your case in further detail. As experienced attorneys, we can provide professional guidance and advice for your case.

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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