Florida Domestic Violence Arrests Up Over Holidays

The number of domestic violence reports, arrests and shelter resident counts increase every year around the holidays.
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Experts who study the issue point to a number of potential factors: More frequent bouts of depression, loneliness, family tension, alcohol consumption and more time spent indoors and at home. It’s also a time when estranged relatives, ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends are more likely to be invited to family gatherings, and there is a heightened risk of a confrontation.

Additionally, no-contact orders are far more likely to be violated, as people try to set aside differences to make the holiday better for children and other loved ones. Unfortunately, even if both parties consent to the contact, it’s still illegal so long as the court recognizes the order as valid.

Our experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense attorneys know these cases often pose an even greater hardship on families at a time when togetherness is so greatly emphasized everywhere they look.

We work to protect your rights and also preserve the integrity of your family structure. We recognize arrests often occur when emotions are running high, and usually, once calm is restored, those involved have a less dramatic perspective on the incident.

Still, we also know a domestic violence conviction can result in serious consequences for the accused. No contact orders are common, even absent a conviction. Depending on whether there are prior offenses, defendants are facing substantial jail time (possibly prison, if the other party was severely injured), as well as enrollment in costly educational courses, separation from family and a permanent record that could mar future school and career opportunities. We point all this out not to worry you further, but to stress the importance of hiring a lawyer with extensive experience in defending domestic violence cases.

While the number of domestic violence-related arrests spikes beginning on Thanksgiving, the increase does not subside until shortly after the new year.

Researchers at the National Research Center on Domestic Violence report that on New Year’s Even and New Year’s Day, there were 2.7 percent more incidents of domestic violence than the normal daily average.

However, other studies have shown the number of calls actually drops during this time. It’s not that there are fewer family confrontations, but some spouses may be trying to “keep the peace.” In these instances, authorities say the increase in reports and influx into domestic violence shelters occurs just after the holidays.

A spokeswoman for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence was quoted as saying incidents that occur over the holidays have a tendency to be dangerous because of where the arguments take place: In the kitchen. It’s where a lot of people spend their time around the holidays. But there are also a lot of potentially dangerous weapons within easy grasp, including knives, boiling water and pots and pans.

The use of such items as weapons could result in a greater charge due to an aggravating factor.

Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:
Domestic violence increases during holiday season, Dec. 12, 2013, WTMV.com
More Blog Entries:
Ten Years Prison for Four-Time DUI Offender in Wrong-Way Crash, Nov. 24, 2014, Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer