The shelter at home order issued to help contain the coronavirus outbreak may do wonders for “flattening the curve” of infections, but many couples are finding that sharing a home together 24/7 is not exactly great for their relationships -especially when so many people are already stressed and anxious about the economic impact of the disease as well as the dangers of infection. Many experts are worried about domestic violence happening with increased frequency in homes abiding by the shelter at home order.
Potential Impacts of the Stay at Home Order
While may people believe that the number of domestic violence incidents will go up, they are actually worried that the number of arrests will stay the same or even decrease during the stay at home order. That’s because many victims may find it harder to leave or call for help with their partners at home with them. They also may fear leaving to go to a shelter with the coronavirus outbreak risk so high. And though shelters are still open, many of them are actually full right now. Unfortunately, that means that these cases might become particularly serious before victims or witnesses call the police.
Arrests are Likely to Continue Despite Coronavirus Outbreak
While we’ve previously wrote about how the government is trying to reduce the overall jail population by 10%, in part by reducing the number of people they arrest for misdemeanor offenses, this does not apply to domestic violence. Those who have been accused of domestic violence will still usually be arrested and booked in jail. Additionally, while the District Attorney has been working to review cases quickly so people accused of crimes where charges will not be filed will be released, domestic violence arrests may result in charges, even in cases where the victim does not wish to press charges.
Arraignments Are Harder to Get Due to Shelter at Home Order
For the time being, arraignment has been put on hold until at least April 6 due to the courts being shut down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That means if you are arrested, you will be left in jail until you can be arraigned or post bail based on the standard bail schedule for domestic violence.
That being said, while bail hearings are being put on hold for the most part, there are exceptions in cases where 1) the defense attorney and prosecutor agree to lower bail or that the defendant should be released on his own recognizance or 2) the bail was originally set above the bail schedule. You can private domestic violence defense lawyer to file a motion on your behalf in order for you to be released without paying the full bail value.
Restraining Orders Are Still Being Issued
Even if you aren’t able to be arraigned after a domestic violence arrest, your partner will be able to obtain a restraining order, legally known as a stay away order. Judges are still holding sessions to issue temporary stay away orders and gun restraining orders. In these types of restraining order hearings, the alleged aggressor cannot appear to defend herself, so you will not be able to challenge a stay away order until the courts reopen after the stay away order is no longer in place.
If you have been accused of any type of domestic violence, please call (760) 643-4050 as soon as possible to speak with Peter M. Liss.