The Covid-19 pandemic has Americans more than a little stressed out. California was among the most restricted states during the period when most of the country was under stay-at-home orders. During that time, nearly all of us had to spend much more time with our families than we were used to. While this was a pleasant surprise for some, it was a major problem for others.
Many couples who were already experiencing marital strains prior to the pandemic were often forced to quarantine together. That only exacerbated tensions and disagreements. Since the lockdown has ended (for now), family law attorneys have seen a spike in inquiries about divorce. According to news reports, there has also been a spike in allegations of domestic violence.
There doesn’t seem to be much data available on how much domestic violence allegations in California have gone up. It is also unclear if the increase is being measured among family law attorneys, law enforcement agencies, domestic violence hotlines or hospitals. This makes it difficult to determine whether the increase is statistically significant or largely anecdotal.
These details are all important, particularly from a criminal defense point of view, because allegations typically lead to charges. To be sure, quarantine has likely been a nightmare for domestic violence victims who are forced to quarantine with their abusers. That reality should not be discounted or minimized.
With this in mind, it is worth considering that some of the increase in reported cases could simply be heated disputes between stressed couples rather than domestic violence as most of us understand the term. If couples are arguing loudly or even throwing objects around the room, a neighbor may call the police to report domestic abuse. Once police respond to a scene, they may pursue arrest and prosecution even if both spouses explain that they were just arguing.
If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence, it is time to contact an experienced attorney who wants to hear your side of the story. Call our firm today to discuss your rights and legal options in an initial consultation.