Domestic Violence & Intimate Partner Violence
Domestic violence/partner violence is a crime.
It is not a private family matter. It occurs in all socio-economic, ethnic and cultural groups. Domestic violence/partner violence includes violence, threats of violence, or other acts of a criminal nature including elements of emotional and psychological violence committed against a person by that personâs spouse, common-law spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or other intimate partner, past or present.
You are not alone. Ask for help, and tell a friend or family member you trust, talk to the police or a counsellor. Asking for help can be the first step in ending the cycle of violence.
Find out more about:
Supports in place for you
Legal remedies protecting you from further violence
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program for intimate partners
Restorative Justice Program
Family Violence Charges: 5 Reasons To Leave Before The Police Arrive
Posted on byMichael Lowe.
Domestic violence, referenced as family violence in Texas Penal Code §71.004, is one of the most common types of 911 calls received by police in this country, with one research study suggesting that as many as 50% of all police calls historically have dealt with domestic violence complaints. See, Hendricks, J., ed. Crisis Intervention in Criminal Justice and Social Services. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas Publishers, 1991.
an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself
abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001, , , , , , , and , by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household or
dating violence, as that term is defined by Section 71.0021.
Here in Texas, family violence is something that happens in every county and at every socio-economic level. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Program of the State of Texas Judicial Branch, family violence is an ongoing and serious problem in the Lone Star State:
What Is The State Of Alabama’s Position About Prosecuting Domestic Violence Charges
The state of Alabama takes the issue of domestic violence very seriously. Individuals faced with domestic violence crimes are often vigorously prosecuted. The approach an individual prosecutor will take will depend upon not only the nature of the crime charged but also the criminal record of the accused person as well as other factors such as the prosecutor’s personal view and, even personality.
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Reason Three: Avoid Giving A Statement To The Police
When arriving at the scene in response to a family violence call, the police officer will be wearing a body camera. That camera will record everything that is said to the officer. That transcript will be shared with the ADA.
The accused who stays at the scene and talks with the police is giving lots of facts and information to the authorities that can later be used against him.
The police will separate the accused from the accuser. Neither will be able to hear what the other is telling the officers. In my experience, these are emotional and intense situations, and it is very common for inaccurate information and outright lies to be told to the police.
It is simply a great disadvantage to stay and answer police questions at a family violence call. There is no law that mandates you to stay and give a statement to the police.
For more on this issue, watch my video and read Dont Ever Talk to the Police! Never Give a Statement to Law Enforcement in Texas Criminal Investigation.
What Is The Legal Definition Of Domestic Violence In Alabama
Alabama defines domestic violence to include criminal offenses that occur where: the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant
Incidentsresulting in the abuse, assault, harassment, or the attempt or threats thereof, between family, household, or dating and engagement relationship members will constitute grounds for a domestic violence arrest.
Of course, there are many other crimes that may not be directly called a domestic violence crime, but which, involve domestic violence. These can be serious crimes such as murder, rape and other sexual offenses and other diverse crimes such as stalking and violation of a protection from abuse orders.
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Planning For Your Safety
Remember each protection plan is unique, because each personâs circumstances are unique. The most important thing is your safety and the safety of your children. Knowing ways to protect yourself is imperative. Please take into account the following suggestions as you plan for your safety and the safety of your children.
- If possible leave the home or call police before any violence starts.
- If you need to leave your home or workplace, know the best escape routes and practice your emergency exit plans. Teach children the escape routes.
- Plan where to go if you need to leave. This needs to be a safe place for you and your children in a time of crisis. Keep your purse/wallet nearby in case you need to leave quickly.
- Keep spare keys for your home and car with you in a safe place at all times. Keep copies of important documents and money in a safe place.
- Keep a small bag of clothes packed and hidden.
- Tell trusted friends, neighbours or relatives about the violence and create a code word or signal with them to call the police if you need help.
- Have a code word with your children that will let them know to leave and get help. Let children know whose house they can run to.
- Let children know where the cordless phone or cell phone is and how to use them.
- If you would like assistance in developing a safety plan please contact the Domestic Violence Support Service at 204-945-6851.
Domestic Violence Crime Scenes
If serious injuries are involved, blood is present, furniture is damaged or in disaray, the police may have the area processed as a crime scene. Domestic violence crime scenes may be processed by designated crime scene investigators, police photographers, supervisors, investigators . Typically, processing a crime scene where a domestic violence incident has occurred involves photographing the crime scene, collecting evidence, measuring distances, and sketching the area.
Some evidence of a domestic violence incident is too large for police agencies to retain or collect, such as furniture or carpet and it will be photographed. Other evidence such as a torn telephone cord or torn item of clothing may be collected for later presentation in court proceedings such as a Hearing or a Trial. If blood or other bodily fluids is present on an item, special handling problems are presented for law enforcement and will be conspicously marked as biohazardous.
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Police Have The Final Say Whether To Arrest
When the police arrive at the home or location where the alleged abuse took place, they will begin their investigation. They will interview the people involved or at the location, and may take pictures of injuries or the home as evidence. They will typically separate those involved and interview them individually. After this, the police will decide whether there is probable cause to arrest the alleged perpetrator. They will make this decision based on the facts they gathered, but they possess a lot of discretion regarding any charges they decide to bring.
Why Are Domestic Violence Cases So Aggressively Prosecuted
There are a variety of reasons that these cases are strongly pursued by prosecutors. One reason is the recognition of battered woman’s syndrome or battered person’s syndrome where the victim of abuse feels helpless and often believes they are to blame for the crimes accused against them rather than their abuser. Prosecutors wish to break the cycle of violence that occurs in these situations.
Of course, simply because someone is accused of domestic violence does not mean that he or she is guilty.Unfortunately, some individuals have learned they can work the system and will file false charges for a variety of reasons such as revenge or retribution.
Even in true instances of domestic violence, not every victim suffers from battered woman syndrome or battered person syndrome.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, expect your case to be vigorously prosecuted. Obtain the best representation possible.
Under Alabama law, if the police are called on a domestic violence matter, must someone be arrested?
It is not mandatory for an officer to arrest someone when they are called out on a domestic violence case but, this is frequently the end result.A law enforcementofficer may arrest a person without a warrant, at any day or any time when an offense involves domestic violence and the arrest is based on probable cause. The officer is free to arrest for either a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense.
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What Will Happen To The Abuser
If the abuser is arrested, he/she will be held in jail until the “first appearance” before a judge. After first appearance, the person can be released until the next hearing. At that next hearing, a temporary injunction can be filed before the abuser is released. This temporary injunction will be active until the final hearing. If the abuser is found to be guilty of domestic violence, he/she will be held on at least one year’s probation and, unless deemed inappropriate by the court, will take part in a batterer’s intervention program that will be a part of probation .
In addition to probation and batterer’s intervention programming, the abuser can be sentenced to a minimum of five days in a county jail if found guilty of intentionally causing bodily harm to another person. If your abuser has a history of domestic abuse, he/she may face a felony charge with up to five years in prison . If this is the case, the abuser will no longer be able to own a firearm and will have any concealed weapon license revoked. If the abuser is convicted of a more severe charge, such as Aggravated Domestic Battery, he/she could face up to 15 years in a state prison .
Uniqueness Of A Domestic Violence Arrest
In most senses, the Virginia domestic violence arrest process is similar to a standard arrest. The arrest is similar to other arrests in the sense that a person is going to be taken into police custody. They are going to be brought before a magistrate, they will be processed, and an initial determination will be made as to whether they are going to be admitted to bail.
The primary difference is that in most domestic violence arrests, the magistrate is also empowered to issue a temporary protective order which will last 72 hours and then automatically expire. In the vast majority of cases, not only will a person have a criminal charge, but they may have a temporary protective order as well.
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Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer
The stakes are high in a California domestic violence case. A criminal conviction for domestic battery or criminal threats in California may result in jail, large fines, mandatory domestic violence counseling sessions which meet two hours weekly for a minimum of one year, mandatory alcohol education classes, personal conduct orders,stay away orders, temporary restraining orders, and other punishment as provided byPenal Code section 1203.097. For that reason, it is critical that that a person charged with domestic assault, domestic battery, criminal threats or stalking have only a qualified domestic violence defense lawyer to handle the case from the earliest possible moment.
Robert Tayac is recognized as being among the top domestic violence lawyers in California and represents clients in criminal cases related to domestic violence, assault and battery, and applications for and responses to restraining orders. Attorneys, investigators and experts working with this highly specialized law office represent clients in the Northern California criminal courts located in San Francisco, San Mateo Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa counties.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is also known as Clares Law, named after Claire Wood who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.
Implemented in 2014, the scheme gives members of the public a right to ask police where they have a concern that their partner may pose a risk to them or where they are concerned that the partner of a member of their family or a friend may pose a risk to that individual.
If an application is made under the scheme, police and partner agencies will carry out checks and if they show that the partner has a record of abusive offences, or there is other information to indicate that there may be a risk from the partner, the Police will consider sharing this information.
For many women who are experiencing domestic abuse, calling the police is not the first option, but is often only a last resort after repeated attacks, and the scheme can only reveal recorded incidents of violence and abuse.
If you want to find out more information about the scheme in relation to your own or a friend or family members situation, call your local police on the non-emergency number, 101 to ask for further information on how to apply.
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Warning: The Intoxication Factor Dont Risk Harm Or Arrest For Public Intoxication Or Dwi
Before delving into my five reasons for leaving, I do need to warn about the possibility of being high or drunk in this situation. Theres a big possibility that someone involved in a domestic violence situation will be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The decision to leave the home before the police arrive for any one or more of my five reasons comes with the caveat that this depends upon your level of sobriety. If you cannot drive your car safely, or if you cannot walk away without endangering yourself, then it is best to stay put.
What To Expect From Law Enforcement
When reporting domestic abuse to a law enforcement officer, the officer on the scene is responsible for
making sure you and the people around you are not injured, and
connecting you with local agencies and resources that help victims of domestic violence.
In addition to these responsibilities, the law enforcement officer should also provide the “Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims” document. This notice should include the following:
Resources available from the local domestic violence shelter and the Department of Children and Families.
A paper that says: “IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, you may ask the state attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence which may include, but need not be limited to, provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse direct the abuser to leave your household prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment award you custody of your minor child or children and direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so” .
This statement explains the following:
A description of physical injuries observed, if any.
If a law enforcement officer decides not to make an arrest or decides to arrest two or more people, the officer shall/will include the reason that the arrests were or were not made.
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Open Up What Happens When Police Are Called For Domestic Violence
As soon as the police are called in a domestic dispute, the incident is no longer a private affair for you and your family to resolve. A disagreement with your spouse can turn into a whole different battle once the authorities arrive on your doorstep.
After all, Maryland law enforcements mission is to collect facts, protect the vulnerable, and inform both parties of their most basic rights not to sit everyone down at the kitchen table to hash the issue out.
Of course, dont hesitate to call the authorities if you fear for yourself or another. However, you should know what happens when police are called for domestic violence-related situations in Maryland.
- If they believe someone will get hurt if they don’t intervene, then they may make arrests or ask if one of the parties wishes to file domestic assault charges or for an emergency protective order.
- Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation or play into law enforcement’s potential biases. Once the dust settles, consider contacting a lawyer to deal with any potential fallout for you or your family.
Do I Need A Solicitor During A Police Interview
Why do I need a solicitor, Ive done nothing wrong?
Firstly it is the one area of legal aid that remains untouched by government cuts and is completely free for everyone. This might give some indication as to how, even in times of austerity, the government still recognise the importance of receiving independent legal advice whilst at the police station.
Secondly, the police are required to provide the solicitor with disclosure of the evidence regarding the offences with which you are accused. This will enable you to make an informed decision based on evidence as to how or if you wish to answer questions in the interview itself. In the absence of a solicitor the police are not obliged to inform the detainee any of the details of the allegation that has been made against him or her.
After the interview, a decision will be sought from the Crown Prosecution Service, and using their guidance, will make a decision as to whether or the individual is to be charged. Again that decision will be made promptly with no bail back or release under investigation. It should also be noted that the policy of the Crown Prosecution service is that a formal police caution is not appropriate for offences of domestic violence.
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