Articles Tagged with domestic violence

pexels-cottonbro-3944454-300x200In California, which has some of the most stringent domestic violence laws in the country, simply being accused of domestic violence can be incredibly disruptive and stress-inducing. But when those allegations become “news,” whether in the press or through social media, the situation can be exponentially more complicated. Now, on top of facing the hassles of a protective order, possibly being forced from your home, and possible criminal charges, you’re also being tried in the so-called “court of public opinion,” which often considers a person guilty until proven innocent. Let’s talk about some of the ways your domestic violence case could find its way into the public dialogue and what additional challenges you might face as a result.

Ways Your Domestic Violence Allegations Could Become Public

In many cases, family disputes that devolve into accusations of domestic violence happen within the privacy of people’s homes. But the fact remains that in our society, nothing really happens in a vacuum–and many times, people accused of it are surprised to find out how many people know about it. Some ways that your domestic violence case could become a public matter include:

pexels-dids-1424538-300x200You’re not exactly sure how you got here. It’s not uncommon for you to get into a disagreement with your spouse or partner, but this time, things got out of hand. You felt an unusual sense of rage, and before you realized it, things had escalated into violence. Perhaps you felt like you were standing outside yourself, watching yourself do something you never believed you were capable of doing. Now, you’re facing domestic violence charges (and possibly a protective order), and you’re devastated. How did this happen?

Then a thought crosses your mind: Could this have been a reaction caused by my medication?

Depending on the medication(s) you’re taking, the answer might be yes. In fact, research has identified at least 31 medications that have been linked to violent behavior in a disproportionate number of patients. While it’s impossible to say for certain whether any given person will become violent while taking these medications, the connection between certain drugs and violence is significant enough that it merits further discussion.

In thpexels-nastyasensei-335393-300x200e State of California, being charged with domestic violence is a serious matter and can be highly disruptive to your life—no matter who you are. But if you happen to be a foreign national (i.e., a non-U.S. citizen), charged with domestic battery, criminal threats, or another form of domestic violence, the stakes may be much higher. A domestic violence conviction can have significant negative repercussions on your immigration status, resulting in your deportation, denial of re-entry into the United States, or exclusion from naturalization (i.e., the process of becoming a U.S. citizen). And even if you are not convicted, simply being arrested for domestic violence can trigger an investigation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and potentially lead to your removal from the country.

If you are a foreign national facing domestic violence charges, it is important to understand how these charges may impact your immigration status and to consult with an experienced defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex intersection of U.S. immigration and criminal law. Let’s discuss the laws that address domestic violence when it comes to non-citizens and talk about how to protect your interests if you’re a non-citizen facing these charges.

Domestic Violence and the Immigration and Nationality Act

Violent-Video-Games-DV-200x300Video games have fascinated us ever since they were invented. In an age where these games are becoming more and more sophisticated and realistic—and frequently violent—a gnawing question is resurfacing in the public debate, especially considering the spike in both domestic and mass violence in recent years. Is there a link between violent video games and an increase of real-world violence? Or, to put it closer to home, if you play violent video games, are you more likely to commit domestic battery toward your spouse or partner?

This is a question that has been debated for many years, with no clear answer. Some people believe that playing violent video games can desensitize players to the horrors of violence, making them more likely to commit acts of violence themselves, both in and out of the home. Others argue that there is no evidence to support this claim and that playing violent video games does not cause people to act violently in real life. The argument plays out everywhere, from coffee shops to Congress.

So, what do the experts say? Unfortunately, there is no clear consensus. Some studies have found a correlation between playing violent video games and increased aggression, while other studies have found no such link. It is difficult to say definitively whether or not there is a causal connection between playing violent video games and committing acts of domestic violence. Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at this question to see what we can learn.

Animal-cruelty-and-connection-to-DV-300x200There’s a technique frequently used in Hollywood during character introductions in movies and TV shows to subtly inform the audience as to whether that character is a “good guy” or a villain: depict how they act around animals. If the character is shown being kind and loving to their pet, we trust and empathize with them; if the character is mean to animals, we know not to trust them. One of the most poignant examples is in the opening scene of the Netflix series House of Cards, during which Frank Underwood rushes to the aid of a dog that has just been struck by a car, and, while talking directly to the camera, calmly chokes the dog to death. (Not pictured, of course.) We immediately know from this scene that we’re looking at an extremely dangerous man.

This storytelling technique works because we instinctively understand that there is a connection between how someone treats animals and how they will treat humans. As it turns out, it’s more than just a feeling. Numerous studies have indeed confirmed a link between cruelty to animals and domestic violence. In one study of women in abusive relationships who had pets, 89 percent of them reported their violent partner harmed or killed their pet, as well. In another, 88 percent of homes where child abuse was being investigated also showed signs of animal abuse. A third study concluded that people who are cruel to animals are five times more likely to harm other humans.

In short, many authorities and domestic violence advocates now confidently state that if someone is abusive toward animals, it’s an indicator that they either have been or will be prone to committing acts of domestic violence. Let’s explore this connection in a bit more detail to see what we can learn.

Military-DV-300x200While domestic violence continues to be an epidemic globally, the problem is apparently worse within military families. Numerous studies have indicated that the rates of domestic violence within military households are substantially greater than those in the civilian population. Given the numerous military bases in and around Southern California, many domestic violence arrests in our area involve military personnel.

Suffice it to say if you are an active or veteran military member and you’ve recently been charged with domestic violence, you’re not alone. Let’s discuss this issue in greater detail.

A Look at the Data

Male-Victim-DV--300x250When we hear stories about domestic violence arrests, we commonly assume that a woman is the victim—and indeed, with more than 1 in 3 women experiencing intimate partner violence at some point in their lives, it’s a reasonable assumption. The truth, however, is that domestic violence is not gender-specific. In fact, a rather shocking percentage of men (1 in 4) will also experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. These men are sometimes assaulted by spouses, partners, exes, or even other family members. And yet, one report indicates that only 26 percent of all DV incidents reported to police involve male victims, even though the actual number is likely much higher. Let’s talk about the ramifications of men as the victims of domestic violence, how it happens, and why these incidents might be underreported.

A Recent High-Profile Case

This issue of male-victim domestic violence was recently thrust into the public dialogue with a news story concerning a high-profile NFL player. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has filed a civil suit alleging that an ex-girlfriend (a military sergeant named Gracelyn Trimble) entered Cook’s residence, assaulted him, sprayed mace on him and two houseguests, and held them at gunpoint. When she allegedly attempted another assault on a guest, Cook’s attorney says he intervened physically. Trimble has filed her own suit against Cook, also alleging assault, battery, and false imprisonment.

Domestic-Violence-Rates-Are-Still-Spiking-300x200Shortly after cities across the nation and world began their quarantines and shutdowns in early 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the reports began coming in about concerns about increased domestic violence during the lockdowns particularly because the abused were being “locked in” with their abusers with fewer resources for escape. Not long after, the concerns were confirmed: law enforcement agencies and domestic violence shelters across the board reported significant spikes in the rates of domestic battery. Even so, the general expectation was that as lockdowns eased and the economy reopened, the rates of domestic violence would also drop accordingly.

But recent disturbing data shows this may not be the case. Numerous studies have indicated that domestic violence has continued to increase well into 2021, long after the quarantines were lifted. The Emergency Journal of Medicine estimates that worldwide, domestic violence incidents increased a whopping 25-33 percent throughout 2020–and not necessarily in direct relation to lockdowns. And with the recent surge of the Omicron variant sparking concerns about further shutdowns and quarantines, experts fear we aren’t at the end of this spike just yet.

This information tells us that there’s more fueling this recent increase than just pandemic lockdowns. A deeper dive into the situation shows that there actually may be several ongoing factors contributing to the problem. Let’s examine some of these issues more closely.

Domestic-Violence-Charges-210x300It’s a scenario that can be both surprising and shocking. You have a verbal disagreement with your spouse or domestic partner (as most couples do). Emotions get heated, and you say some things you shouldn’t have said—and maybe didn’t mean. Someone observes the argument and calls the cops—or maybe your partner makes the call herself. A short time later, you get a visit from the police and find yourself arrested on charges of domestic violence or accused of making criminal threats—even though you never physically touched your spouse!

How could this happen? Could you actually be convicted of domestic violence under these circumstances? Theoretically, you could—especially if your heated exchange included verbal threats. Let’s talk about how California law views emotional abuse as part of domestic violence and when heated words might cross the line into a criminal act.

Emotional Abuse and Domestic Violence

Panic-Attack-DV-300x200If an altercation between you and your partner has ended up with you being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, chances are your emotions are already at a fever pitch. Being charged with domestic violence can take the fear to a whole new level. Within hours, you’re suddenly faced with the possibility of losing your freedom, your family, access to your kids, etc. Your whole world could be hanging in the balance. Add to that the humiliation caused by being cuffed and put into a patrol car in plain sight of your neighbors, and it’s enough to make anyone anxious. 

All this to say, if you begin experiencing signs of panic attacks or severe anxiety in the wake of your domestic violence arrest, you’re not alone. These reactions are quite common, in fact. And yet, resolving a domestic violence charge may still take time, during which you may still have to deal with some of those triggers. So what can you do in the meantime to deal with any symptoms and bring your emotions into check? Let’s discuss some practical solutions. 

What is a Panic Attack, and What Are the Symptoms? 

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