Domestic violence charges are very serious matters. Domestic violence charges can be filed based upon any allegations of threats or abuse occurring between (1) husband and wives, (2) girlfriends and boyfriends, (3) parents and children; (4) domestic partners; or (5) anyone with a blood relationship between the alleged abuser and alleged victim.
Even minor arguments can result in police involvement. Once the police become involved an arrest will usually be made even when the alleged victim does not want an arrest to be made or criminal charges to be filed. Several high profile cases such as the O. J. Simpson case and other cases have altered the “innocent until proven guilty” standard in domestic violence cases into situations where the accused oftentimes needs to prove the allegations are either false or exaggerated. In many cases police and prosecutors consider whoever calls 911 as the victim.
Many prosecuting agencies have specialized “domestic violence units” made up of prosecutors who handle only domestic violence investigations and/or domestic violence related charges. Sean Hennessey is well known to these prosecutors who specialize in domestic violence cases because of his astounding success winning jury trials involving domestic violence related charges. Sean Hennessey is well known by specialized domestic violence prosecutors as a knowledgeable, creative and extremely aggressive advocate for people being investigated for allegations of domestic violence or already charged with domestic violence related crimes. Many times Sean Hennessey conducts a much more thorough investigation than the investigation performed by the police or prosecutors.
Domestic violence and abuse charges are often extremely emotional cases. In some cases someone with a motive to have a family member, significant other or relative arrested and charged with a crime may initiate criminal proceedings. A surprisingly high number of domestic violence related cases are initiated out of anger, jealousy, or revenge. Sometimes alleged victims bring false charges in order to get an “upper hand” in divorce or child custody proceedings. Often the conduct resulting in charges is unwitnessed, is based on acts that occurred behind closed doors and thereby creates a “he said – she said” situation. Prosecutors, judges and the public may be pre-disposed to sympathize with the alleged victim because of the increased attention high profile domestic violence cases have received in the press and on television. This oftentimes creates an uphill battle for the defendant.
A domestic violence conviction has serious long-term consequences. Sentencing turns on the seriousness of the crime and the defendant’s criminal background. Jail time is often imposed, even in first-time misdemeanor cases. In virtually all domestic violence cases the court will order a 52-weeks of domestic violence counseling, payment of fines, at least 3 years of probation and impose a no contact protective order that precludes the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim. A domestic violence conviction goes on the defendant’s criminal record and can negatively impact job applications, professional licensing, and immigration status.
Should an alleged domestic violence incident involve parents against their children or if children are present when an alleged domestic violence incident occurs this could trigger involvement from a Social Services agency. In some instances removal of all children in the house can result from such domestic violence incidents. Sean Hennessey is one of the very few attorneys who is certified to handle Dependency cases i.e. cases where a Social Services Agency removes children from their homes. Please see the Dependency Law section of this website for more information on Sean Hennessey’s experience handling Dependency cases .
Sean Hennessey has over 21 years handling domestic violence related charges. Sean has had 100’s of domestic violence cases either not filed by the prosecutors office, cases dismissed, not guilty findings by a jury or the charges reduced. Retaining Sean Hennessey as your lawyer can help minimize the impact of these charges.
Domestic violence cases involve sensitive issues with the potential for severe consequences and requires the aid of an attorney with a high level of discretion and tact. Sean Hennessey has spent over 21 years representing people either being investigated for domestic violence or formally charged with domestic violence related crimes. Sean Hennessey will advise you of all of your options and provide aggressive representation when dealing with the prosecutors, judges and, if the case goes to trial, before the jury. Call The Law Office office today at (714) 898-5828 or Sean’s cell phone (949) 280-1257 for a free confidential consultation.
Below are several Domestic Violence cases that have proceeded to a Jury Trial and the results:
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON FACTS: Client, 5’4’ and 120 pounds allegedly attacks ex-husband with a foot long steel pipe and bites him on the inner arm. Client says that her 5’lO” 185 pound abusive husband attacked and choked her and she bit his arm. Wound consistent with client’s version of events. Client’s son changes story he told to police because he said his father threatened him.DEFENSE: Self defense.RESULT: Jury finds Client Not Guilty of all charges after 2 hours of deliberation
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FACTS: Client’s husband claims client choked and bit him. Police officer testified wounds on client’s husband were defensive wounds. “Victim” testified that he drank almost every night. He also testified that after client went to jail he filed for divorce with the belief that if he filed first he would get custody of the kids.DEFENSE: Self defense; victim lying for child custody reasons.RESULT: Client found Not Guilty by a Jury after less than 2 hours of deliberation