How Do I Love Thee…
What not to do when the police get involved during a call.

How Do I Love Thee…

Fridays are usually my “blog days,” meaning that at some point during the day a muse smacks me upside the head and gives me inspiration on what to write for the following Wednesday’s blog.

Over the last few weeks, Muse has been keeping her hands to herself.  I have been able to come up with a blog topic pretty quickly and have pounded out the rough draft before noon on Friday.  (Muse typically does not wake up from her drunken stupor until three or four o’clock in the afternoon.)

Today, however, Muse and I caught up with one another.  We are waiting for our flight to Sydney, Australia here at LAX.  (Terminal Four is looking a little tired for what it is worth.)

Muse has still been kept at bay though.  Today’s topic is fresh in my mind.  Today we are going to be talking about domestic violence and the ramifications of a DV arrest.

Last week, Chaney was being honored at a West Point function for new cadets from Southern California.  While we were toasting the president and the corps of cadets with our apple cider champagne goblets, my cell phone started blowing up on me.

Turns out one of our Aegis clients was in a bit of a bind.

Aegis is a program that the Law Offices of Lieberman & Taormina LLP offer to our CCW, military, and law enforcement clients.  Basically, it is a retainer agreement that puts us on call 24/7.

Our client, we will call him Jonathan Swift, was in urgent need of our services.

Urgency is defined as being handcuffed in the back seat of a patrol car.

(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)

Turns out Mr. Swift has a soon-to-be ex-wife who has become quite the alcoholic and she is now in an inpatient rehabilitation program.  She had been granted a 24-hour pass to visit their young son.  While the client and his wife are essentially estranged, our client would like to help her continue the relationship with their son.  To that end, he allowed her to spend the night at the home… We will call this decision:

Mistake #1.

In the morning, client was taking a shower when wife comes barging into the bathroom.  She is belligerent and accusatory… and, for seven o’clock in the morning, a little too aggressive.  Well, it turns out that on her one-day pass from the treatment home she found client’s alcohol… alcohol that he probably should have removed from the home before his wife came home, but didn’t… we will call this:

Mistake #2.

Client is now concerned for his safety as his wife berates him while he is in the shower.  He exits the shower and escorts her out of his room and slams the door to his room.  She yells at him from the other side.  Naked and still dripping wet, he realizes he has a problem.  He calls the police to ask for assistance.   This we will call:

Mistake #3.

Police do show up, and ask him what happened.  He tells them… and, you guessed it:

Mistake #4

They then arrest the husband and take him to downtown Santa Ana to be processed into the men’s central jail for felony domestic violence… let me spell this out… he is ARRESTED FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT!  WORSE… THE COPS LEAVE THE WIFE AT HOME ALONE IN POSSESSION OF ALCHOL!!!

AARRRRAHHH!!!!!

He then calls me.

We were able to secure “Mr. Swift’s” release and begin the process of a counter investigation.  We notified the CCW licensing unit of his arrest.  We also went down to Santa Ana to pick up Mr Swift at midnight.  (The last thing we needed was for our client to be wandering the streets of downtown Santa Ana at midnight after having spent the last 12 hours in jail!)

Remember, kids… you have five days to notify OCSD if you have had an adversarial contact with law enforcement.  Due to the nature of the offense, and the fact that Mr. Swift was now under advice of counsel, we drafted and furnished his statement to OCSD.

We spoke with the DA, and the good news is that it looks like all charges have been dismissed against Mr. Swift. 

This is at least one ray of light in an otherwise dismal picture. 

“Thank God you were there for me.  I know so many attorneys from my line of work… but none of them would have known where to start.”

Mr. Swift was fortunate. 

Most law-abiding citizens have no need to have a criminal defense attorney on “speed dial”.  The irony is that when these law-abiding citizens get CCWs, they feel it is important to have that defense attorney on speed dial!

What many law-abiding citizens don’t realize is that their need for an attorney may have absolutely nothing to do with use of force.

It may, instead, be the result of half a bottle of bourbon and an upset estranged wife.

Let this be a cautionary tail.

Now… off to OZ!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Stories without some clarification are extremely frustrating….why did they take HIM away????
    Thanks
    Jim

    1. Because that is unfortunately pretty much a standard policy in most jurisdictions. If a DV call comes in, arrest the husband and then punt… let the DA decide what to do.

  2. Is there no penalty for false arrest? Why was Mr. Swift arrested rather then his ex-wife? Did the cops not smell alcohol on her breath?- Barry Reder

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