Domestic Violence Results by Courthouse
Our office handles domestic violence cases in courthouses all over Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties. The following case summaries represent some of better, more recent results in such matters.
We caution the reader not to expect the same result in his or her particular case based on a case summary with seemingly identical facts. The process of plea bargaining is not like a mathematical equation, where facts are inserted, multiplied, some number is then arrived at, a figure is subtracted and then the plea bargain is reached. The personalities and experience of the defense attorney and the prosecutor often factor in subtle ways.
Each courthouse has its own standards and protocol for processing cases and each judge within the courthouse may vary from such standards. The supervising prosecutor also can have a tremendous influence on the terms of a disposition.
That being said, it is generally true that in all domestic violence cases, prosecutors recognize domestic violence is often a recurring event and can lead to severe injuries, including fatal injuries. They understand that an entire family can be affected, too, and often alcohol and/or drugs contribute.
Caution is thus common among prosecutors. They are hesitant to dismiss cases or even reduce charges without significant assurance that the defendant will not one day be front-page news after killing his spouse, similar to what happened in the O.J. Simpson case nearly two decades ago. They are thus reluctant to acknowledge false accusations driven by a vengeful spouse, jealous girlfriend or spouse with immigration issues seeking to become a U.S. citizen.
However, there still are certain trends that one can observe over time and unique characteristics associated with each courthouse, so read on with a healthy appreciation that past is not always prologue in domestic violence.