Holiday stress arrest
Now that the holidays are fast approaching, stress levels are sure to sky rocket. Dealing with family members during the holidays can become so overwhelming that those under stress may snap, act out, and end up in jail. This acting out may involve self-medicating and ending up with a DUI offense or assaulting a family member, and ending up with a domestic violence charge. If you or someone you know seems to be at risk for these scenarios, a few things should be kept in mind to avoid a holiday stress arrest.
A drunk driving charge in California (Vehicle Code section 23152) can end up costing thousands of dollars in mandatory fines and fees, DUI class fees, and attorney fees. If the driver has a child in the car, you can add on a child endangerment charge which will result in additional parenting classes and potential dependency proceedings depending on the facts. With the domestic violence charge (Penal Code section 273.5), the person will most likely face a “no contact” order forcing the person to have to move out of the house, potential jail time, and a year of batterer treatment classes. If there are children in the home, it will cause the children distress and potentially affect them for many years to come. A holiday stress arrest is no good for anyone.
The common sense approach is to obviously avoid these situations all together. Call an Uber for a ride to avoid a DUI or remove yourself from a heated argument with a family member to avoid a domestic violence situation. Unfortunately, sometimes situations escalate, poor choices are made, police are called and an arrest occurs. If this happens, the smartest thing to do is not talk to law enforcement officers without a reputable criminal defense attorney on your side. Many times, the police fill in the factual gaps with statements given by the accused, which does not help in preparing a defense against the charges. These statements may or may not be recorded, which can be a problem when sitting in a jury trial.
During a jury trial, the prosecution will most likely play the recording of any statements that were made, or put the officer on the stand who will give a verbal summary of his interpretation of what you told him. Often times, these statements are very damaging, being taken out of context or misconstrued if there were not in fact recorded. This puts the person who is on trial in a position where they will have to testify in order to present evidence to dispute what the prosecution presented to the jury. This creates a credibility contest between the person on trial and the police officer. Unless the defense attorney has some great impeachment evidence against the officer, jurors tend to believe law enforcement. As you can see, it’s an uphill battle when trying to refute evidence of the accused’s statements.
If you or a loved one ends up with a holiday stress arrest, start mitigating the situation BEFORE stepping foot in the courtroom. If alcohol was involved in the incident, start attending 2-3 Alcoholics Anonymous classes per week, and give your criminal defense lawyer the signed attendance sheet before your court date. If you are in the Southern California area and need an attorney to assist you with your holiday arrest situation, please do not hesitate to call us at Kenney Legal Defense Corporation for assistance at (855) 505-5588.