Los Angeles Domestic Violence - Frequently Asked Questions
A Los Angeles domestic violence arrest often occurs suddenly and leaves all parties in shock. In many cases, both the person arrested for domestic violence and the complaining witness find themselves in uncharted territory and have many questions. Anyone arrested on suspicion of domestic violence should speak with a skilled Los Angeles domestic violence attorney immediately. The following are a few frequently asked questions about domestic violence in Los Angeles.Q: “If I Tell the Police or Prosecutor That I Don’t Want to Press Charges, Will They Drop the Case?”
A: This is one the most frequently asked questions regarding domestic violence. In many cases, police will be contacted during an argument and law enforcement will respond. Most people do not realize this, but law enforcement agencies now have policies in place requiring that an arrest be conducted on any domestic violence call. These policies are meant to correct accusations that law enforcement largely ignored domestic violence, sometimes leading to fatal results.
When a person calls the police to report a domestic incident, he or she does not want their partner to be arrested and are shocked when the arrest occurs. Sometimes the person who calls the police ends up being arrested.
Many people believe that simply telling the police or prosecutor that they do not want to press charges will lead to the case being automatically dropped, however this is not the case. Once the law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies have become involved, only they can decide whether or not to dismiss a charge or decline a criminal filing. In many cases, a prosecutor will proceed with a domestic violence case even when the complaining witness does not want to cooperate. In fact, the prosecutor will often subpoena the reluctant witness into court in order to get his or her original statements to law enforcement.
It is critical that anyone who has been arrested for domestic violence or who has a loved one who has been arrested for domestic violence speak with an experienced Los Angeles domestic violence attorney right away, as the early intervention of a skilled attorney can make the difference between whether or not a case is filed.Q: “Is Domestic Violence a Felony or a Misdemeanor?”
Domestic violence is a category that includes both serious “strike” felonies in which the other party suffers major injuries as well as misdemeanor domestic battery under Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) which may involve allegations of pushing where there are no injuries at all. It is critical to note that domestic violence is unique and that even low-level misdemeanor convictions can trigger mandatory sentencing provisions under Penal Code § 1203.097 and can lead to collateral consequences that can affect professional licenses and immigration.Q: “What Are the Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge or Conviction?”
Being convicted, or in some cases even charged or arrested, with a domestic violence offense can trigger very specific consequences. When someone makes their first appearance in court at their arraignment on a domestic violence charge, the prosecutor is required by law to request a protective order preventing the defendant from having contact with the complaining witness. In many cases, this will be a full protective order that requires the defendant to move out and not speak or communicate with the other party at all. This is often granted even in cases where the complaining witness wants contact.
In addition, if a person is arrested for a domestic violence offense and there are children in the house, the Department of Children and Family Services will be notified and they will pursue their own independent investigation into whether the home is safe for children. In some cases, the children may be removed from the home and both parents, even the complaining party, will have to go to dependency court. Both parents can also be charged with child endangerment.
A domestic violence conviction is also a “ crime involving moral turpitude ” which can make a non-U.S. citizen subject to deportation, denial of naturalization or denial of entry into the United States. For people in the United States on a student visa, the arrest alone may trigger a cancellation of that visa.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for domestic violence, it is critical that you speak with an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut understands how to effectively represent those arrested for domestic violence. In many cases, Mr. Kraut’s early involvement in a case has resulted in charges being rejected fully or significantly reduced.
For more information about domestic violence, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Michael Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.