Articles Posted in Domestic Violence defense

Los-Angeles-domestic-violence-attorney-300x200Given both the increase and the heightened awareness of domestic violence cases since the 2020s began, it’s important once in a while to look at the news stories talking about domestic violence to see both what we can learn and how we can improve the situation for families at risk. We’re reviewing news stories both about general trends and specific instances of domestic violence to see what takeaways we find. Let’s continue that process now.

Brooklyn Woman Executes Her Former Girlfriend After Long, Volatile Relationship

In April of this year, the New York Post reports that a Brooklyn woman turned herself in to police, confessing that she had shot and killed her former girlfriend execution-style after a volatile 20-year relationship. According to prosecutors, police had responded to a total of 14 domestic violence calls over the past two decades, 10 of which had indicated the shooter as the “aggressor.” The shooter’s sister claimed that her sister was mentally disabled and had tried to distance herself from the victim but that the victim “kept coming back.” She said her sister had pulled the trigger because “enough was enough.”

immigration-and-domestic-violence-200x300A domestic violence arrest can disrupt your life and your family on many levels on its own. But when you are an immigrant to the United States, and you’re facing domestic violence charges, things can get even more complicated very quickly. Depending on the circumstances and how severe the charge is, a domestic violence conviction can jeopardize your immigration status even if you’ve already obtained your Green Card. You could be disqualified from eventual citizenship and possibly even deported. Let’s take a closer look at this issue and talk about how domestic violence charges could affect you from an immigration standpoint and what (if anything) can be done to minimize the impact.

Immigration Laws and Criminal Convictions

Under United States law, an immigrant can lose their legal status if they are convicted for certain types of crimes, particularly for aggravated felonies and/or crimes involving moral turpitude. Domestic violence charges frequently fall into one or both of these categories, and that’s why a domestic violence conviction could threaten your legal status as an immigrant. From an immigration standpoint, any domestic violence charge that results in a prison sentence of one year or more classifies as an aggravated felony. Examples of DV crimes involving moral turpitude may include, but are not limited to:

domestic-violence-accuser-and-accused-300x200Being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence can be highly disruptive to your life—and of course, being the victim of domestic violence is nothing short of traumatic. But what happens when you are both a victim of domestic violence and the person accused of it—at the same time? What if the alleged victim and the defendant are one and the same person—and that person is you?

It doesn’t happen that often—but it does happen. When domestic violence occurs, we typically assume there is one perpetrator and one victim. One person gets hurt, the other one gets arrested and charged. In the majority of DV cases, this assumption holds true—but on occasion, someone who has been attacked in a domestic violence dispute may actually be arrested and possibly charged as a perpetrator. Let’s talk about the complexities of these types of cases, the circumstances in which they may occur, and what you can do about it if you find yourself in this undesirable situation.

How Can Domestic Violence Victims Also Be Charged?

domestic-violence-and-marijuana-200x300Since the recreational use of cannabis was legalized in California a few years ago, public attitudes in the state toward marijuana use have continued to soften. For many years, marijuana has been associated with pain relief, relaxation, and an overall mellow disposition. Proponents of legalizing the drug claim it is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco and that regulating its use actually boosts the economy while reducing crime. Indeed, considering its effects on most people, it seems unlikely to think that marijuana use could lead to increased domestic violence.

And yet, that’s exactly what numerous studies now indicate. A growing body of research now suggests a distinct connection between regular marijuana use and domestic violence. Can the use of weed actually make you more prone to violence, particularly against those you love? Let’s explore this topic a bit further.

A Look at the Research

Domestic-violence-defense-LA1-200x300Consider the following scenario. You recently had a disagreement with your significant other. Heated words were exchanged. You said some things in the heat of the moment that you later regretted. Perhaps you left and spent the next few days elsewhere, but you called to continue the argument, and again you exchanged heated words. Not long after, there’s a knock at your door. The cops arrest you on a complaint of domestic violence. You’re in utter disbelief. “I don’t understand. I never laid a hand on her!” you tell the police—and later, your lawyer.

Perhaps you are telling the absolute truth; you didn’t lay a hand on her. Did she make up a story to get you in trouble? Possibly. But it’s also possible that in that exchange, you actually broke the law without realizing it.

California’s domestic violence laws are designed to provide extensive legal protections for victims, and therefore, they categorize a wide range of actions as domestic violence—even things that don’t involve any physical contact with your spouse, partner, or family member.

2020-Los-Angeles-domestic-violence-2-286x300The end of the year naturally provides an opportunity to look back on key moments to see what we can learn. The year 2020 has been filled with cautionary tales, especially concerning incidents of domestic violence, which have been on the rise in the midst of the pandemic. Let’s continue reviewing some of the most notable news stories of domestic violence to discover what lessons we can learn.

More Deaths from Domestic Violence than from COVID-19

As a key example of how “safer-at-home” orders can backfire for high-risk households…ProRepublica reports that in parts of rural Alaska, more people have died from acts of domestic violence in recent months than from COVID-19.

holday-domestic-violence-300x200While most of us like to think of the holiday season as the happiest and most joyous time of the year, for many of us, it can also be one of the most stressful. According to studies, nearly 40 percent of us report an increase in stress during the holidays. Unfortunately, stress can also be a trigger for domestic violence among vulnerable families. Between a hotly contested election, economic woes, and the ongoing pandemic, this year’s holiday season promises to be more stressful than most.

All of these factors may strike a note of concern for you, especially if you’ve previously been arrested on domestic violence charges or have general trouble with anger management. What can you do now to keep your stress manageable? What steps can you take proactively to keep any holiday tensions from escalating into a very bad situation?

Looking at the Numbers…

DV-in-BIPOC-community-300x200On October 19, activists held a rally in Leimert Park in South Los Angeles to raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence among the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous and People of Color). The event, hosted by a partnership of Black justice organizations collectively known as #Standing4BlackGirls, coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, recognized every October for decades.

While domestic violence respects no color and can impact people of every ethnicity, it has been widely documented that the BIPOC community seems to be affected disproportionately compared to whites, especially in America. Extensive research has been done to explore the reasons for this, and while some answers are easy to document, other explanations remain elusive or speculative. Let’s discuss this question in a bit more detail to see what we can learn.

Breaking Down the Numbers

domestic-violence-mental-illness-300x200The presumed link between mental illness and violence is a hot-button topic these days—and to the chagrin of many mental health professionals, this connection seems to add to the stigma of those who suffer from various types of mental illness. There are likely two reasons why this connection has been made, at least in the arena of public belief. First, we’ve seen numerous high-profile violent crimes in recent years (most notably related to gun violence and/or mass shootings) that have been attributed with people who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness. And second, many acts of violence are so senseless that we naturally begin looking for a reason why they might have occurred. (In other words, when a violent act appears to be insane, we generally blame it on insanity.)

This idea also raises an important question among couples and families: Can mental illness be a contributing factor or trigger mechanism for domestic violence? Put another way, can we blame an act of domestic violence on mental illness? For that matter, if so, could mental illness be used as a successful defense against domestic violence charges? Let’s explore this question in a bit more detail, looking at the latest science and research while unpacking some of the myths surrounding this question.

The Short Answer Is Yes—But It’s Far More Seldom than You Think

remote-learning-domestic-violence-300x200News reports across the board continue to confirm: Domestic violence is on the rise around the world, largely owing to the ongoing pandemic. Between lockdowns and quarantines, more time spent at home, rising unemployment and numerous other triggering factors, many households have become a tinder box for escalating tensions, which sometimes lead to violence.

One of the many possible aggravating factors for increased tensions at home is the fact that the children have now been stuck at home for months—andfor many, this trend shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Despite ongoing pressure from Washington for local schools to open this fall, many communities are choosing either to start the semesters with remote classes or to implement a hybrid model combining in-person and remote learning. In either case, the children will continue to spend more time at home.

This fact is raising concerns among advocacy groups as there is evidence that some children are particularly at risk for increased abuse at home during this time. For some proponents of reopening schools, their main argument for doing so is their concerns for the children at risk from staying at home. Since many of us will be dealing with some form of remote learning in the coming months, let’s explore in more detail how home education may be increasing the risks for domestic violence. More to the point, if you are experiencing increased stress from remote learning that may put your household at risk, let’s talk about some ways you can diffuse the tension and protect your household.

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