Domestic violence or DV as it is often referenced is perhaps one of the most difficult criminal charges I have to deal with. Because of that, I am struggling with where exactly where to begin.
Let's start with DV in Santa Clara County where I do most of my business. Because of an incident some years ago when officers were called to a residence to deal with a DV situation the rules for dealing with this type of disturbance in SC County have been dramatically changed. The officers interviewed the couple and hearing that neither party wished to press charges against the other, the officers left. Later that same evening, the couple’s dispute continued and escalated to the point where the man killed the woman. Since that tragic case, whenever officers are called to respond to a DV issue, someone is going to jail and in some cases, both parties may be arrested. And to add to the idea of protecting individuals, there does not have to be any evidence of damage on either party. A couple might simply be in a heated, vocal argument overheard by a neighbor who subsequently call the police and if they respond, someone is going to jail.
Let's talk for a minute about who are those people who get arrested for DV. The truth is, it could be any one of us. Who amongst us have not gotten into an argument or dispute with that most important person in our lives? I don't see any hands up. We all have moments when for whatever reason we disagree, get frustrated, angry or impatient with another person. It's how we handle it that becomes important. Secondly, it's a matter as to where you are. Can you be overheard, observed, implicated? Next time you get into one of those uncomfortable situations, think for a moment, is a stay in jail, the cost of release and the embarrassment worth it. My voice says, NO.
In my next discussion related to Domestic Violence I will give you the type of persons I have dealt with on DV issues and some of the related stories. You will be surprised and somewhat amused I guarantee