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Months ago, San Diego County put a new domestic violence law on the books, and now, the entire state is following suit. The state’s new law impacts how law enforcement officials deal with cases involving alleged acts of strangulation. This will change how police officers interact with alleged victims of domestic violence.

New Domestic Violence LawThe Law

When this new law becomes official in January, law enforcement officials will have to inquire about strangulation when interviewing domestic violence victims. If the victim answers in the affirmative, he or she will be asked to provide documentation, if any is available. This documentation will be used when prosecuting the person who is accused of committing the violent act.

In addition, law enforcement officials will have to explain the dangers of strangulation to domestic violence victims. It is one of the deadliest acts of violence, and victims will have to be warned about the danger of internal injuries. In addition, police officers are supposed to instruct them to go to the doctor for a medical evaluation. This could save their lives.

The Purpose of the Law

Law enforcement officials often miss strangulation because the signs can be hard to see. Lines around the neck fade, if they were ever there in the first place. Also, people occasionally cover the signs because they are embarrassed.

At the same time, victims often don’t realize how severe their injuries are. They think they are fine, so they don’t disclose it to the officer or go to the doctor.

Investigators hope this new law will help inform the public about the dangers of strangulation and also encourage victims to seek medical help quickly.

The Dangers of Strangulation

People who are strangled can become unconscious within seconds of someone’s hands going around their necks. They can also be dead within minutes. That is more common than you might think. Between the years 2008–2016, 15 percent of domestic violence murders in San Diego County was due to strangulation.

Even those who survive often have an uphill battle. They might suffer from traumatic brain injury or memory loss. They might even have a stroke due to the lingering complications.

On top of that, those who survive are eight times more likely to be murdered later when compared to people who suffer from other forms of domestic violence. Disclosing the strangulation upfront will allow the officers to provide them with vital information so they can get out.

Defending Yourself from Domestic Violence Charges

The state of California is working hard to improve their cases against those charged with domestic violence. Those who are charged also need to protect their interests, which is why an attorney is necessary. An attorney will gather evidence, as well, and help you build a case to defend yourself. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you are charged and let the attorney mount a defense on your behalf. Don’t speak to the police without an attorney present. It could mean the difference between doing serious time and being found not guilty.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys. In 2017, he was also selected for the Super Lawyers Top 50 in San Diego list. In 2014, he was selected as a Top Attorney by Los Angeles Magazine. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong was also named as a Top Attorney by the San Diego Business Journal in 2014.

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