While we’re on the subject of police officers exceeding their authority, let’s talk about domestic violence. What most people do not realize is that any time you get the police involved in a domestic dispute, someone, not always the right person, will most likely be arrested.
I recently received a call from someone who had been arrested for domestic violence. He spent 2 days in jail before he posted bail which cost him $5000.00. He had done nothing wrong and his girlfriend did not want charges filed. They had an argument and she went to the police to ask them if they could have him stay somewhere else for the night. He showed up at the police station because he was worried about her and didn’t know where she had gone. When he told the police who he was looking for, he was arrested. The police had twisted her words and completely changed her story. We were able to get the DA to agree not to file charges however, this person still has an arrest on his record which he now has to have erased.
If you are having a dispute with someone in your family, a spouse, a roommate, a boyfriend or girlfriend, do not call the police unless there has been actual violence. Do not call the police just because you want someone to leave the house. They will leave in handcuffs in the back of the police car.
I have represented several women who were victims of domestic violence but because they fought back and the male had scratches resulting from their resistance, the victim was taken to jail and had to fight domestic violence charges. I ultimately had their cases dismissed but they had to go through this terrible ordeal.
When the police arrest someone for domestic violence, they also issue a TRO or temporary restraining order. The order usually prohibits the person who has been arrested from having any contact with the alleged victim. In many cases, this means that person can’t go home or see their loved ones. If charges are filed by the DA’s office, the court will often issue a restraining order which will remain in effect until the parties, jump through several hoops.
“What if I don’t want to press charges?” This is the most commonly asked question. The answer is, it is not up to you. It is up to the district attorney who reviews the police report. Is there anything you can do? Yes. Hire an attorney who is experienced in domestic violence cases to assist you in having the charges dropped.
Call the Law Office of Diane C. Bass and let me help you.