Typical Demographic To Be Found In Domestic Violence Cases
Interviewer: How does age play a factor? How does age play a role in domestic violence cases just specifically, I mean is there a typical age for the accused or put it like this?
Paul Geller: There really isn’t a typical age per se. I mean I’ve handled situations involving young couples and I’ve handled situations where you’re talking about couples in their 50s and 60s. I think many times, alcohol or drugs play a role in these types of cases. And it’s not exclusive to the person who’s been arrested. Often times, they involve both parties.
Alcohol or Substance Abuse Tends to Be a Bigger Contributory Factor than Age in Domestic Violence Cases
But I think that more than some sort of alcohol or substance abuse tends to be more contributory factor than age per se. So, having handled clients from various generations, it seems to cross over fairly well and I think the majority though tends to be people in their 20s and 30s, sometimes in their 40s and that might be the more majority of the cases as opposed to more elderly generation. Having said that, I have handled cases where people of older ages have been suffering these types of charges.
Interviewer: What evidence is needed to prosecute a domestic violence case?
Paul Geller: Usually what happens is there’ll be a 911 call and the police will come out, separate the parties. When they do those interviews, what they’re also looking for is physical evidence by way of physical injury upon the person, property that may have been destroyed, weapons that may have been used, those types of things. You can have a situation that may be relatively minor where there’s a pushing or a shoving, that may not have necessarily the physical evidence that corroborates a statement. That will not preclude the police from making an arrest. I’ve handled cases many times out of the various local counties here in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County and definitely in Orange County where the complaint was simply “he pushed me”, and there wasn’t physical evidence to corroborate what’s been alleged.
The Police Will Conduct a Physical Examination to Determine the Scale of Injuries and to Determine the Aggressor in a Domestic Violence Situation
As you start to sort of work out to the physical injury scale, if you will, the police will look at hands and see if hands and feet were used, if there’s any injuries to the suspect’s hands or any marks on him or her, any redness or bruising on the alleged victim’s body, also if there’s any defensive marks on the person alleged to have been the aggressor. Many times, you’ll have both parties involved in some sort of physical altercation and then, it simply becomes a decision by the police to determine who was the initial aggressor and that will be ultimately the person who would be charged. That can change however legally because when you have a situation where you have what we call mutual combat, the person defending themselves can only use enough force reasonable to stop the threat.
Domestic Violence Altercations are Usually Very Emotionally Charged and Heated Situations
So, if someone is being pushed, let’s say a female is pushing her husband and he, in an attempt to get her to stop, pushes her away, she trips and falls and then he kicks her, he would be most likely arrested in that circumstance because of the fact that he kicked her when she was on the ground. So, that can be very difficult to sort out especially when police are trying to calm down what are often times very emotionally charged and heated situations and trying to sort out what the true facts are.