Domestic Abuse Electronic Tracking

August 7, 2008

A growing number of states has expanded electronic monitoring to include domestic abusers and stalkers. Michigan just joined their ranks. The Michigan law allows judges to order domestic abuse suspects to wear GPS devises, even before they go to trial. Also in Michigan, parole officers have fitted required 38 parolees on parole for aggravated stalking to wear GPS devices while on parolee.

For years GPS devices have used to monitor sex offenders. Now technological advances have made it possible for the systems to issue warnings by cell phone if the offender gets too close to a specific victim. A protection zone within which a warning will be issued to the cell phone must be large enough to give the notified party time to react. And bad cell phone reception limits the usefulness of the technology.

Last year Massachusetts enacted a law that allows judges to require electronic monitoring of those who have violated personal protection orders. This year Oklahoma and Hawaii joined the group, making the number of states to eleven which have enacted similar measures.

Protection orders do not stop a determined violator, as the news media has repeatedly reminded us. And it is a determined violator, a very small percentage, who is the real threat, and the one who makes the news after killing a spouse. In the overwhelming number of cases, a protection order, regardless how much based in fact, once issued by the court, is honored by the person ordered to follow it.

However, now the potential victim will have one more protective device working for them, which should keep more (not 100% becaue nothing is foolproof) people from harm, as well as giving the potential attacker another reason to refrain from committing a violent crime.  This is a good way to use technology. It’s good for everyone concerned…..the would be victim and family, our court system, and the would be attacker. Many times a person’s anger can diminish given enough time while having no contact with the person they’re angry at.

I do think all states should enact similar laws and look for more to do so in the future.

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Domestic Violence – A New Class of Crime That Can Trap the Innocent

May 30, 2007

“Domestic Violence” is a new class of crime. It has become a cottage industry for law enforcement and it can trap the innocent.

You should understand that for decades police and prosecutors felt played fools by those who cried “domestic abuse”. Time after time, police were called to the scene of an argument or all-out fight between spouses or boyfriend-girlfriend. But then when the police arrived, the partners often turned on the police together to battle or oppose the police. Too often, the complaining party changed (her) mind the next day and “did not want to prosecute”.

For years, that was the end of it, until the next fight, when the same thing happened again. The complaining party simply used the police and prosecutorial system to break up the fight but protected their partner from any prosecution.

Law Enforcement “Takes Revenge” for past decades of

Cries of “Domestic Abuse”

 

Now, the system has taken over the prosecution. No more does the complaining party have the power to “file charges” or even to decide whether to move forward in prosecution. That power is now in the hands of the prosecution, and the complaining party is a mere witness who will be subpoenaed to testify, even against their will. And once handed a subpoena to appear, complaining witnesses have been cited for contempt of court for failing to appear.

Questionable Prosecutions Paid For By Federal Money

Now that federal money flows into the coffers of law enforcement to finance such prosecutions, this prosecution will go forward despite the wishes of anyone else. Now the police are much more aggressive in arresting and bringing charges, in discovering “wounds” to the “victim”. Physical marks which the “victim” swears are simply red marks that have nothing to do with their domestic abuse encounter (e.g., allergy red marks), the police confidently swear are squeeze marks or choke marks.

Finding physical evidence of abuse is critical, as the police well know, because, in order to make the arrest upon someone for such crime which the police did not actually witness, the police must first observe a “recent physical injury” to the alleged victim. The police are looking hard for such evidence, else they cannot justify their arrest.

Police and Prosecutors Seek Convictions to Advance Their Ambitions

Once the arrest takes place, the parties (defendant and alleged victim) are surprised that this process cannot be called to a halt. The parties seem sure that if someone will just listen, the charges will be dropped. But this is not so. The prosecution is moving forward, and the prosecution is looking at jail time to enforce its will. The prosecution takes the worst possible interpretation on every fact and implication.

Public Disagreements Turn into Legal Nightmares for the Innocent

Time and again, I have been contacted by a husband and wife who are startled that their wishes do not matter at all in the prosecution’s going forward to punish what the husband and wife consider their personal disagreement.

One such example involved a couple (I’ll call John and Jill–not their real names) in a store who were disagreeing about a purchase in a language other than English. Jill thought the item was on sale but the clerk didn’t agree and since the supposed savings was a minuscule amount, John took the wife’s arm and urged her to leave because they were running late for other commitments. The store personnel called the police and that started the legal nightmare that seemed like a “train out of control” for the innocent couple.

What seemed like an minor disagreement to John and Jill turned into a situation where John could be sent to prison. Imagine their horror and disbelief at this predicament.

Unfortunately, occurrences like this are not widely reported and the general public does not realize such injustice can occur to anyone. This is a prime example of how important it is to seek the best criminal defense lawyer you can for a domestic violence case, even if it appears, on the surface, to the accused, to be merely a misunderstanding that should be quickly cleared up.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with that kind of offense I urge you to visit my web site at http://www.edmondgeary.com to discover how to protect your rights and get the right attorney for your case.