No one is surprised that the holiday season results in an uptick in DUI charges. But did you know that this is also the time of year where many people are arrested for domestic violence? A domestic violence arrest can happen in the homes that you least expect it to (maybe even yours) when the police strictly apply the "zero tolerance' standard to our law (which doesn't require any injury).
Why are so many people arrested? Many arrests are from situations that are blown all out of proportion. A routine argument takes on a life of its own when someone (usually with good intentions) decides to call the police thinking they will help smooth things over. When the police do respond they don't act like the friendly police officers you expect, but instead quickly separate the parties and then make a surprise announcement that someone is gong to jail.
These situations are even more commonplace over the holidays when you have additional stress factors. Many people are home from work, and thus are spending more time with each other. There can be a change in schedule due to children being home or away (due to holiday visitation). There is the stress that comes with paying for Christmas (meals, gifts, gas to travel). And finally you mix in a few extra drinks and suddenly you have the perfect groundwork for household conflict.
Once the arrest has been make the case must be resolved in court. The absolute worst thing you can do for yourself and your family is to just agree to accept a domestic violence conviction. A conviction can have a life-time of consequences- especially now that the penalties have all been greatly enhanced due to the Domestic Violence Reform Act.
The first step in avoiding the conviction is to meet with an attorney before your court date. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney can give you access to the information and defense strategies that you need to help avoid a conviction. You are invited to contact our office for a free case analysis, and you should also request a copy of the book Challenging CDV. I wrote this book to help people understand their legal rights with regard to a domestic violence charge. Free printed copies are available from my office, or you can request an electronic copy here.
There absolutely are steps to be taken to help people avoid a domestic violence conviction. But you lose your rights to these if you choose to appear in front of a judge at your initial court date without first obtaining legal assistance.