According to ABC 7 News, the number of domestic violence calls received by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office has been increasing since stay-at-home orders went into place due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Sheriff's office reported that “domestic violence calls… are up more than 8% as compared with last year.” Orange County has reported a 25% increase in domestic violence calls since the stay-at-home requirements began.
Many experts believe that this increase in domestic violence and child abuse can be associated with the stress of the situation. Even small things can become very stressful due to the current state of the world. Social workers are suggesting that if neighbors or family members are concerned about the possibility of domestic violence, they can help by “assisting in providing food, or other supplies, like toilet paper, or coloring books” or having “virtual check-ins via phone, text, or video.” These things can help to ease stress that can lead to violent acts.
In California, harming a spouse or partner or one's children can result in criminal charges. Domestic violence is a general term that includes harming one's spouse or intimate partner. The criminal charges associated with domestic violence include the charge of domestic battery (Cal PC 243(e)(1)) as well as corporal injury on an intimate partner (Cal PC 273.5). There are also several sections of the penal code that cover harming a child and possible charges include child abuse, child endangerment, and child neglect.
Many times, disputes in the home start over small things. If these things escalate and get out of hand, and someone is harmed, the person responsible for the harm can face these previously mentioned criminal charges. Sadly, even disputes without violence can result in false accusations of violence merely because there was an argument. What may have started as something simple can result in serious criminal charges with very serious consequences. Consequences for domestic violence and child abuse vary greatly depending on the facts of the case, if it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, the harm done, and even if this is a repeated offense. However, these consequences can always include jail time, fines, and probation.
We hope that everyone is able to stay safe and healthy during this time and that the stresses associated with the Coronavirus and its effects do not have a negative impact on your home. However, if you are accused of domestic violence or abuse, it is crucial that you speak to a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who can be by your side for your case. There are defenses available, including showing the accusation was false or the discipline to your child was reasonable, not abuse (there was no corporal injury).
Facing a domestic violence allegation or charge is very serious, and can negatively affect your life, relationship with your kids, job, and reputation. If you are facing a domestic violence charge or a charge involving child abuse, contact the Kann California Defense Group as soon as possible for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.