What makes a crime domestic violence? Generally, domestic violence involves violence happening between a couple living together and having an intimate relationship. They may be married, dating, or may have a child together.
However, under California law, domestic violence is defined as an abusive treatment against a spouse, or cohabitant. A spouse or cohabitant includes a roommate, former roommate, spouse, or an ex-spouse. As such, domestic violence can also be a crime against a child and parent or other close relatives. It doesn’t matter if the partners are still together or married, police will consider the crime domestic violence if two people have had an intimate relationship together.
Either partner can be arrested for domestic violence and in some cases, both partners are arrested. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with domestic violence, you will want to know what is going to happen next. The process can vary based on the type of violence and various factors. Here's a summary of what you need to understand.
How Domestic Violence Occurs
Domestic violence cases in San Diego are broader than people usually estimate.
Here is a good definition from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
"Domestic violence is the voluntary intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexually inflicted violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse."
California law explains that abuse is:
- Not only hitting but also trying to hurt, shoving, kicking, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring the other person, following, limiting their freedom.
- Sexually assaulting.
- Threatening, promising to hurt, stalking, harassing, disturbing their peace, destroying their personal property.
- In some cases, it may include emotional abuse.
In our practice, we have seen cases where: a simple shove or push or putting the hands on somebody's arms and pulling them were considered physical abuse.
We've had cases where the situation started lightly and escalated. The victim then tried to make a phone call, and the aggressor took the cell phone out of their hand or ripped the phone out of the wall so that she or he couldn't make the phone call. That aggression becomes a separate charge in itself. We find that charge all the time linked with domestic violence cases.
We encounter a lot of yelling and screaming matches that turned into misdemeanor charges because the neighbors call the cops. More exactly, the neighbors call the Police asking them to do a wellness check. The Police come, and someone goes to jail.
This type of abuse includes situations where those involved yell and scream at each other.
It's at the discretion of the Police Department if they think there is a threat. The Police react more drastically if the public peace is disturbed and the neighbors are the ones that call them
Common forms of emotional abuse are isolating, humiliating, degrading.
Common forms of psychological abuse are intimidating, threatening, causing fear.
An arrest for domestic violence will be made when the emotional and psychological abuse lead to violence.
The abuser and the victim can be:
- Married/former spouses
- Domestic partners
- Dating/used to date
- Living together/used to live together
- Parents of a child
- Closely related by blood
- Closely related by marriage
What Happens When You Report Domestic Violence to the Police?If you try to resolve petty disagreements, even heated ones, using the help of the police, expect that you may be putting yourself or your loved one in the position to be arrested. Involve the police in a domestic situation if you are truly in danger.
- When police are called, and they find a conflict between related parties, a report has to be filed and in most cases an arrest is mandatory.
- Officers have discretion in some cases; however, in domestic violence cases, they usually don’t.
- The police generally separate the persons involved and perform interviews with each of the people in the household.
- An arrest will be made if neighbors reported the incident and there is a conflict.
- However, when the offender is a minor, generally an arrest will not be made, but the family will be contacted.
- In most cases, the police will not arrest the person that initiated the conflict, but the one that caused the most significant harm.
- It is possible that both persons involved are arrested.
How Domestic Violence Escalates
We had an interesting case where the husband came home, and the wife was in bed with another person. He started yelling and making a scandal. The lover was afraid that the husband might harm her and after he left called the Police. In the end, it was the cheated husband that ended up in jail.
In practice, we see a spike in domestic violence cases around weekends and holidays. Whenever people get drunk, they get into arguments over unimportant issues, and things escalate really quickly. Statistics show that:
- Women are more likely than men to be victimized. The rapport is 85% to 15%.
- Most commonly, assaults affect women aged 16-24 and African-American women aged 20-24.
- Separated and divorced women are more likely to be victimized.
If the aggressors become violent towards a child, they will be charged with child endangerment or child abuse. We often have such cases.
Does the Injured Party Have to Charge You With Domestic Violence?
In some cases, you may be arrested once the victim contacts the authorities. However, you can get arrested and charged even if the victim does not charge you. For instance, if the neighbors call the cops, you or your partner may be arrested if the other person shows visible signs of abuse like bruises, black eyes, or ripped clothing.
The essential fact is that once police are called, they almost always arrest someone, even if the partner says they don’t want charges to be filed or the police to be involved. If you end up arrested, it is important to contact a San Diego bail bondsman as soon as possible.
Domestic violence in San Diego can be classed as a felony, however, it also can be a misdemeanor. The classification depends on the extent of the injuries to the other party. Note that you may be charged with felony, but you may be able to put forth a plea to have the charge reduced to misdemeanor.
What Is the Bail for Domestic Violence?
In San Diego, domestic abuse is a serious issue and the bail amount is higher than that for similar crimes that don’t involve members of the family. Once you post bail, you can get out of jail and prepare for your trail. The bail amount varies based on the nature of the crime, your past criminal history, your probability of fleeing the area before trial, and other factors.
For misdemeanor domestic violence, the bail may be $500. Usually, the bail for felony domestic violence, which occurs when a traumatic condition affects the victim, is $50,000. The amount may double in case of serious injury. On top of that, if you have violated a restraining order, you may face bail that's $10,000 or $20,000, or $40,000 higher.
How Do You Pay Bail?
Once arrested, you have the option to pay your bail or wait for your arraignment to see if you can be released without bail. Generally, the arraignment will be held within three court days, which do not include holidays or weekends. Bail can be paid through bail bondsmen who require 10% of the bail total as a bail bond rate, however, King Triton Bail Bonds is able to offer a 7% rate and can work out a payment plan as well.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence, a San Diego bail bondsman can help you obtain bail. The punishments for domestic violence can include jail time, probation, and mandatory classes. Because the charges are so serious, it's important to get out of jail so you can prepare for your trial. Call us at King Triton Bail Bonds today so we can help you get out of jail.