We can all rest a little easier these days knowing that domestic violence situations are taken more seriously by law enforcement than they were in the past. The sad history of this crime is that it was not always taken as something that needed to be addressed at all. Fortunately, prospectives have changed and more people are aware of just how important it is to actually help resolve domestic violence situations.
There has been nearly a one-hundred and eighty degree turn on the way in which domestic violence situations are viewed in the eyes of the law. In Los Angeles for example it is now possible to pick up a felony charge even for a first time domestic violence offense. For a lot of individuals this is the first time that they will have ever have been charged with any crime at all. For those individuals in particular it is important to understand what the investigation process is going to be like.
How It Starts
In virtually all domestic violence situations the beginning of the investigation is when someone calls the police to help bring an end to the situation. This might be one of the people directly involved in the dispute, or it could be a neighbor who hears commotion and wants to help get things calmed down. Regardless, many officers of the law will show up on the scene to help bring an end to the situation.
Each jurisdiction does things differently, but a lot of police departments these days are asking their officers to bring at least one and often both parties involved in a domestic disturbance into the police station under arrest until things can be sorted out. In some cases this does mean that the person who originally called for the police to show up is actually the one who is taken under arrest as well.
The Investigation Process
After the party suspected in the domestic violence situation is released from jail they will be given a court date in the future that they are compelled to attend. The police will also work on an investigation of what exactly happened in this situation. They are likely to ask for an official statement from the victim in order to get their side of the story down in the official record.
Police and paramedics that arrive on the scene in the first place are likely to take a look at any injuries sustained by either person involved in this situation. They want to make sure to document everything so that they have an official police report that they can file away. This report may become critical at a later date when this situation ends up in court.
In the event that police investigators believe that there really is enough evidence to prosecute the suspect, then they will refer the case over to the local district attorney. They will turn over every bit of evidence that they have on the case up to that point. That will also kick off the process of the suspect being informed that a case is being brought against them. That is the moment when a suspect should hire an attorney to help represent them in this matter. They could be facing a serious loss of their freedom if they do not.
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