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this is how absurd our mental health system is!

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  • #16
    Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
    What kinds of incidents mandate a criminal complaint? To the best of my knowledge, none. Suspicion of domestic violence, especially against minors, compel educators and health care workers to report them to an appropriate authority: police, DA, child welfare, etc. All that does, though, is initiate an investigation. Criminal charges and/or competency proceedings may follow, but only pending the results of the investigation. In the main, however, if a spouse declines to file a criminal complaint against her/his assailant, there's little that the authorities can do.

    Not unless we do away with that pesky presumption of innocence.
    I'll only speak for Texas, but if we have PC that domestic violence has occurred we can arrest using the State as a complainant. This was done because frequently in abusive relationships the abused lacks the emotional security to actually file charges.

    However, you still have to have probable cause.

    Most domestic calls are someone calling in because they hear an argument or 'a disturbance'. This can simply be a loud domestic argument (Common to every relationship, just louder), to a misunderstanding, to two partners locked in mutual battle (just because there is violence in a relationship does not mean its abuse. There are couples who duke it out toe-to-toe), or domestic abuse.

    Most boil down to just telling them to keep it down; occasionally we get the calmer half (assuming there is one) to go stay away for the night or just a couple hours to let everyone cool off. And sometime the violence won't stop long enough for anyone to answer the door.

    A classic one, we get called about 'some sort of argument next door'. I do the usual, which is stand next to a window and listen for a bit before making contact-very handy to get an advance and honest idea of the dynamics awaiting me. Knock on the door and after a wait a little girl around 3 opens the door in her nightshirt. I kneel down, get her name-I'm waiting for back-up to show so I'm in no worry. Ask the kid what is going on, and she says 'Daddy is hitting Mommy in the kitchen.'

    Well, there you go: PC to enter & search the residence, solid start on the foundation for an arrest.

    That one ended with about $8k in property damage, multiple felony charges, and a trip to the ER for daddy before it was all over.

    Domestic calls are like a box of chocolates: sooner or later they all turn to sh*t.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
      I'll only speak for Texas, but if we have PC [probable cause*] that domestic violence has occurred we can arrest using the State as a complainant. This was done because frequently in abusive relationships the abused lacks the emotional security to actually file charges.
      Yeah, I can see that. I've got to assume, however, that DA's aren't too fond of those, as getting the actual victim to testify against her/his abuser can be pretty tough. Absent the victim's testimony, how much weight can a cop's account afford? Then it's not even a he said/she said: it's a husband & wife said vs cop said. Prosecuting something like that can get pretty sloppy I'd imagine.

      *I actually had to think about that one.
      I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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      • #18
        Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
        Yeah, I can see that. I've got to assume, however, that DA's aren't too fond of those, as getting the actual victim to testify against her/his abuser can be pretty tough. Absent the victim's testimony, how much weight can a cop's account afford? Then it's not even a he said/she said: it's a husband & wife said vs cop said. Prosecuting something like that can get pretty sloppy I'd imagine.

        *I actually had to think about that one.
        Depends upon the prosecutor.

        Of course, if you know the wife won't file, you had best arrest only when the facts are supportable. However, he's got freshly busted knuckles, she's got a tooth on the floor, the neighbor heard her screaming and a man yelling...it can fly in County (misdemeanor) Court. Better still you get one of the kids to comment while your dash cam is rolling.

        However, the key point of the law is that the arrest is legal regardless of where the DA takes it, so you effectively remove the abuser from the environment for the night, at least.

        And if, as often happens, he takes a swing at an officer or just resists, well, that's a horse of an entirely different color.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
          Depends upon the prosecutor.

          Of course, if you know the wife won't file, you had best arrest only when the facts are supportable. However, he's got freshly busted knuckles, she's got a tooth on the floor, the neighbor heard her screaming and a man yelling...it can fly in County (misdemeanor) Court. Better still you get one of the kids to comment while your dash cam is rolling.

          However, the key point of the law is that the arrest is legal regardless of where the DA takes it, so you effectively remove the abuser from the environment for the night, at least.

          And if, as often happens, he takes a swing at an officer or just resists, well, that's a horse of an entirely different color.
          In many states, I believe it is true in Idaho, when there is a domestic with obvious evidence of contact, bruising etc. someone will be arrested.
          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

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