What makes a viable criminal case? Evidence. The strength of a prosecutor’s case against someone accused of committing a crime comes down to the strength of the evidence found for the accusation. This reality is why everyone should know what evidence is required to make a domestic violence arrest and conviction.
Defining Domestic Violence
As stated on this California Courts web page, domestic violence laws define abuse as one of the following:
- Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone intentionally or recklessly;
- Sexual assault;
- Making someone reasonably afraid that he or she or someone else is about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
- Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone, disturbing someone’s peace, or destroying someone’s personal property).
At the lowest level, domestic violence is making someone reasonably afraid that he or she is about to be seriously injured (this is known as an assault charge). So, when can police arrest someone for domestic assault?
Evidence Required for Domestic Assault
For prosecutors to convict someone for assault, these four elements must be true:
- An act was committed that, by its nature, would directly result in the application of force to someone else;
- The act was willfully performed;
- Any reasonable person would believe that the act would result in the application of force to the recipient;
- When the act was committed, the actor had the ability to apply the force.
Therefore, saying something like, “I’m going to hit you if you don’t shut up” may be enough evidence for an assault arrest.
As you can see, assault charges do not require much evidence, and assault charges fall under domestic violence if they occur within a family or in a romantic relationship. Therefore, domestic violence arrests require little more than testimony from an accuser.
Have You Been Arrested for Domestic Violence?
If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence, Newman & Allen can help. We understand how one wrong statement can result in domestic violence charges, and we will fight hard to defend your case.
Call (909) 328-6101 now for a free consultation concerning your case!