Interviewer: What are some misconceptions people have about domestic violence cases?
Court Koehler: Misconceptions of domestic violence, the seriousness that it carries. Like I was talking about with having a violent crime on your record. We were talking about assault, I was talking about all kinds of assault, including domestic violence. When you have a domestic violence record, that’s even more serious, more troubling to government agencies, and potential employers, and professional associations, that you would be applying to licenses or jobs in the future. That’s even more of a concern than just your regular assault charges, which are already very serious.
The Stigma Associated With Domestic Violence Cases Can be Detrimental to Future Prospects
There is just lots of stigma concerning domestic violence. If you, in the future, say you have a domestic violence charge and then down the road you have a custody issue. Let’s say, ten years later you’re married to someone, you have a kid, then you get divorced, and you have a custody battle over the kid. If you’ve got a domestic violence charge on your record, that’s the kind of things that’s going to be very serious. It’s really going to negatively impact your custody. Domestic violence charges are really serious when it comes to child custody. If you have children or if you’re going to have children in the future or something like that, it really can be a serious problem for a custody proceedings. There’s that kind of a concern too.
A Lot of Times An Arrest is Not Made in a Domestic Violence Situation
Interviewer: When this situation occurs, will there always be an arrest?
Court Koehler: No, no there’s not. A lot of times there’s not an arrest. With assault, sometimes you’ll get charged weeks later. After a police officer has had a chance to investigate and maybe talk to different witnesses and things like that. Then you’ll get a summons in the mail, maybe not in the mail, but somebody will show up at your door, a sheriff and serve you with a summons for a crime. It will be for something that happened a couple weeks ago. Typically it’s not going to be a complete surprise. You would have talked to the police or the police would have been involved in the situation. You might know it’s coming, but in that sort of a situation there doesn’t necessarily have to be an arrest right away. They can just summon you to court and then the court case can go from there.
A Police Officer Can Question a Child Without the Consent of his Parents
Interviewer: Can a police officer or detective question a child without the consent of the parents?
Court Koehler: It’s hotly contested. It’s hard to say whether or not without knowing the circumstances. Needless to say, if that’s the situation, then there is usually going to be an argument as to the accuracy of what the child’s statement was. It’s been known to happen and it’s something that’s going to be a bone of contention in your case, for sure.