Common Misconceptions Regarding Domestic Violence Cases
Interviewer: What do you say are some of the common misconceptions that people have about domestic violence cases?
Brett Hollett: It’s a crime of passion and it is a very serious offense. A lot of times people don’t really understand the repercussions of what’s going to happen when you get the police involved. When the police show up for a domestic violence call, someone is going to go to jail. Two people may get into an argument or a dispute over something and then, a lot of times, alcohol or drugs are involved and then one thing leads to another and then, one party decides to call the police. Oftentimes what may or may not have happened is relayed over the phone and then, when the police show up, they are stuck with trying to figure out what really happened and who to believe. One party’s story will often be very different than the other party. However, physical evidence will weigh heavily with the police officer’s decision on who to arrest. Nonetheless, some parties tend to fabricate some of the things had allegedly taken place. Some people use the threat of a domestic violence call or charge as a way to get back at another partner.
People May Use Domestic Violence Allegations to Get Back at their Partner / Spouse
When they get the police involved at that point, that person’s going to go to jail and then, after the fact, we see a lot of the times that some of these victims then recant their statements and then, what they initially told the police actually didn’t happen the way they said it happened or didn’t happen at all. And so, that’s unfortunate because the person who’s taken in the jail and arrested now has a domestic violence charge pending and has to go to court and answer for that.
An Arrest for Domestic Violence Shows on Your Record Until You Get it Expunged
Interviewer: If I had a domestic violence case and it was dismissed, would that still show up on my record? I mean would I still have some problems with like employment?
Brett Hollett: Unless you had your case expunged, yes it would. So, I mean that’s a big thing. In todays job environment employers are not looking for headaches. Employers may pass an applicant over if they see they have been convicted or even just arrested for domestic violence. You know and if you plead guilty to the domestic violence charge, it’s one of the few crimes, even if you plead guilty to the domestic violence in the third degree, which is only a misdemeanor, you lose your right to carry a firearm. A lot of people in the south hunt and own guns but if you plead guilty to any domestic violence charge, you no longer have that right to carry a firearm. A DV conviction carries very serious and permanent repercussions.
Interviewer: What if the case didn’t even involve weapons?
Brett Hollett: It doesn’t matter. Any domestic violence conviction, you are going to lose your right to carry a firearm.
Trespassing is Usually Not a Factor in Domestic Violence Cases
Interviewer: Could trespassing never be considered a factor in a domestic violence dispute?
Brett Hollett: Not typically. Trespassing could have implications on a defendant violating a protection order or a restraining order but will likely not lead to a new domestic violence charge.
Terms Like Domestic Battery and Family Violence Denote Categories of the Domestic Violence Charge
Interviewer: So, when I hear like different terms, domestic battery, family violence and domestic violence, is there like a difference between those three or they are all pretty much the same?
Brett Hollett: No, in Alabama they are basically the same. The domestic violence code section encompasses all of this activity.
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