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Criminal Defense Attorneys

Downtown L.A., Domestic Violence, Referred to Office Hearing

Our client, age 30, had no criminal history, but his wife had quite a history, all related to alcohol.

It was Super Bowl Sunday and the couple decided to attend a party hosted by friends.  They took their two young children, ages 4 and 7, with them.  As was the custom with their group of friends, the husbands would often leave the party together and go to a bar to watch the game, leaving the wives and children back at the party.
Brief Synopsis:  Our client’s extremely drunk wife threatens to reach from the passenger seat over to the steering wheel to cause a crash of the family car with the couple’s two children inside.  Our client stops the car and pulls her out of the car.  She calls the police, claiming domestic violence.  Case resolved with an office hearing.
The wives would then turn off the television, as none of them had any interest in football, and would play cards among themselves while the kids would play video games or basketball in the backyard.
When our client returned from the bar to the party, he found his wife extremely drunk and nearly sick from all the alcohol she had drank.  The other wives commented that she had consumed ten or twelve beers, plus tequila.  This angered our client because his wife was on felony probation for a DUI in which she injured two other people and even had her children in the car at the time.  As a condition of probation, she was not allowed to drink alcohol.
The wife was extremely jealous that our client had a steady job as a security officer.  She wanted to ruin his stability, which ironically is how she was financially supported.
As the couple drove home, with their children in the back seat, the wife was seated in the front right passenger seat.  She told our client that her life was not worth living and that she was going to reach over to the steering wheel, yank on it suddenly and cause the car to crash.  Our client at first brushed off this threat as the rambling of a drunken person, however, she said it several times and seemed to be moving herself over to reach across to the steering wheel.

Our client quickly applied the brakes and turned into a gas station.  He positioned the car under the gas station’s video cameras and in front of several other people.  He then stopped the car, put it in park and jumped out.  He was scared for himself and his kids.  He ran around to the passenger side of the car and pulled his wife out of the car.

He then left her sitting on the curb of the gas stations and left her.  She had to walk about a mile home.

She was so angry at his reaction that she called the police from the gas station and told the police that our client had hit her, pulled her against her will out of the car and pushed her.  She wanted her husband arrested and convicted to see him suffer just like her.
More significantly, she knew that if she claimed domestic violence, the police would require her husband to turn in his weapons which he used for work.  This would mean he could not work and he would suffer like her.  He would be fired.

It was a completely selfish act, as their children would suffer immeasurably.

The police did indeed report to the scene and, despite noticing her intoxication level, believed her.  They immediately proceeded to the family home, even driving the wife there, and arrested our client.  They also searched the home and seized our client’s .357 and 9 mm handguns that he used at work.

The client posted bail and called Greg Hill & Associates.  Greg met with the client and listened to the facts.  Greg had previously seen the factual scenario of a selfish wife seeking to hurt the husband in the worst way possible.
Greg immediately contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and the Downtown Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.  He spoke with the detective assigned to the case, describing what our client had told him, which were facts for a necessity defense.  This meant that a person may commit a crime if necessary, and in a reasonable manner, to prevent personal injury or personal injury to a family member.  Greg explained this affirmative defense to the detective and the calendar District Attorney.

image descriptionClara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (CCB)

The handling detective and the calendar District Attorney did not seem too impressed with Greg’s attempts to influence that handling of the matter, however, when the client and Greg appeared for the felony arraignment in the Central Criminal Building (CCB), also known as the Clara Shortridge Foltz building, the prosecutor advised Greg that the matter had been referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office for an office hearing.

This unusual step was quite a relief to the client, as it meant he would avoid a conviction and would regain possession of his weapons far sooner.  An office hearing is an informal telephone conference call wherein a mediator will talk to the defendant and the victim at the same time and try to resolve the differences between the two in an amiable way.  If the parties seem receptive to this method, the case will not be filed at all and all property seized during the arrest will be returned to the defendant.

Our client was quite happy with this outcome.

For more information about domestic violence, please click on the following articles:
  1. What Punishment Do I Face for Domestic Violence?
  2. What Is Diversion, Delayed Entry of Plea and Deferred Entry of Judgment?
  3. Federal Lifetime Ban on Owning a Firearm Applies After Misdemeanor Conviction for Domestic Violence under California Law
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