San Diego Criminal Attorney, Holiday Season and Domestic Violence Arrests

Any San Diego Criminal Attorney will tell you that the rate of arrest and prosecution for domestic violence cases in the County have increased significantly in recent years. Public awareness and a strong increase in law enforcement action in cases involving domestic battery have put this issue near the top of the criminal justice system.
Just as DUI patrols and arrests increase toward the end of the year there is always a large increase of domestic violence calls to local law enforcement. Criminal Defense Attorney George Gedulin describes a common scenario in San Diego involving domestic battery; “A couple and their two sons live in North County San Diego. There is an argument over attending one of the kids soccer game on the day following Thanksgiving. The argument however escalates and both parents begin exchanging profanities and elevating their voices. A small push by one spouse causes the other to react and hit back, either with their hands, feet or an object in the room. Prior to more contact the husband decides that the presence of a police officer may help calm the situation and avoid an escalation in the fight. The call to local police is made and the husband explains that there is a verbal argument, kids are in the home and that there has been physical contact between himself and his wife.”

The husband or wife hopes that the arrival of law enforcement will force both parties to calm down and that cooler heads will prevail. Police arrive and separate the parties, asking probing questions about physical violence, past calls to police, history of criminal activity and the presence of guns in the home. Only minutes after arrival the husband is arrested and taken into custody. The wife pleads that she does not want her husband arrested and that the only physical contact was an exchange of pushes or shoves. A phone call seeking the assistance of law enforcement to simply calm a situation has become a criminal case. The husband is charged with a misdemeanor for domestic battery against his spouse and booked into jail. The consequences of a felony or misdemeanor charge for domestic violence are significant. Felony domestic violence is charged as corporal injury to spouse under CA PC 273.5(a) The scenario above is quite common for a San Diego Criminal Lawyer, especially when it involves children present during the fight. I see multiple cases every year where an incident of domestic violence includes felony charges of cruelty to a child and child endangerment. A charge for child cruelty under CA PC 273a(b) can be just as devastating as a domestic violence charge because of the implications for custody of one’s children.

North County San Diego areas such as Carmel Valley, Del Mar and Vista have thousands of domestic violence calls each year which often lead to a criminal case. I defend both men and women who have been charged with domestic battery and other criminal charges. One thing that many clients do not realize is that if criminal charges are filed the court will grant a protective order which has the same effect as a restraining order against the defendant. Individuals who hold a security clearance for their work or are required to carry a gun for employment will immediately be impacted. A restraining order is put into a electronic database accessible not only by law enforcement but also DHS personnel at the airport, which can make any holiday travel delayed and more difficult.

Any person in San Diego who is in a relationship should be aware that calling the police regarding a domestic violence incident is taken very seriously. The police are there to determine if one party or another is a dominant aggressor and whether someone should be arrested and removed from the home.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence or domestic battery and need counsel please speak with an attorney who understands these types of cases.

George Gedulin,
Attorney at Law