Domestic Assault Rates Rising During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing spouses, couples, and men and women to stay together for long periods of time. Tennessee like other states ordered that people stay at home during the early stages of the pandemic except for workers performing essential services. The confinement has created its own unintended consequences – an increase in domestic assault cases and charges.

According to a recent report in USA Today, most crime rates nosedived in the second half of March, because there was less traffic (resulting in fewer drug arrests) and fewer businesses open (resulting in fewer residential burglaries because people were at home). Many police departments report that they are purposely not arresting as many people to avoid spreading the virus in prisons.

During the same timeframe, however, police reported about 10-30% more complaints about domestic disturbances. Detroit saw a 10% increase in domestic violence calls. Arizona also saw a 9% spike. Santa Rosa California’s domestic violence calls rose from 42 to 51.

According to the New York Times, domestic abuse, also called “intimate terrorism,” is increasing worldwide. The abuse includes psychological harm in addition to physical harm.

How a skilled domestic violence lawyer can help

Domestic partners need to understand that police will still investigate homes if there are complaints about domestic violence. Assailants will be arrested. Spouses and domestic partners also need to understand that it is critical that they review the charges against them with an experienced sexual violence lawyer.

Skilled Franklin criminal defense lawyers may assert the following defenses:

  • Suppression of any evidence obtained in violations of a defendant’s Constitutional Rights. This includes oral statements against one’s interests that were illegally obtained because you weren’t given your Miranda warnings or because you weren’t given the opportunity to speak with a lawyer. Evidence that was seized without reasonable grounds or without a warrant may be inadmissible.
  • Factual defenses such as that the conflict didn’t occur, another person was responsible, any injuries were due to an accident, or that any violence was an act of self-defense.
  • Holding the local government to its duty to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Other legal defenses that may apply such as defects in the complaint.

Skilled lawyers work to determine if there were any other witnesses or if the evidence is one spouse’s word against the other spouse’s version of what happened. We review the police report which may not be as detailed because of concerns about contracting the COVID-19 virus from other people.

At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we work to suppress improperly obtained evidence, negotiate plea reductions, and work to obtain acquittals before judges and juries. Some cases, for example, can be resolved if a defendant agrees to counseling as part of a plea settlement. With offices in Franklin, Columbia, and Brentwood, defendants can easily access legal representation. Call our office at 615-977-9370 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation about any domestic violence charges.