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Domestic Violence and Politicians

by | Jan 4, 2017 | Criminal Law, Domestic Violence, Firm News

Even politicians are susceptible to the laws and regulations of domestic violence. They too can be disciplined and even effected by the filing of restraining orders and Stay Away Orders.  One might think that because they are a politician and hold a public office and are voted by the people to represent them in the legislature that they are above the domestic violence laws of the United States.  However, this has proven to be untrue as in the case of South Carolina legislator Chris Corley who was indicted on felony domestic violence charges.  The South Carolina House Speaker suspended Mr. Corley after the domestic violence charges were done.

A 911 call was made from Mr. Corley’s house and in the background on the 911 call children’s voice were heard screaming as Mr. Corley allegedly was pointed a gun at his wife. Under California law Corporal Injury to the spouse under Penal Code section 275 is a felony and can send a person to state prison for 2, 3 or 4 years.  This charge occurs when it is inflicted upon a family member.  In Mr Corley’s case he allegedly attacked and beat his wife.

His children were heard on the 911 call telling their dad to stop the aggression.  This type of behavior as well will probably end up on criminal charges.  Exhibiting violence in front of the children can be a criminal charge as well.  Under Penal Code section 273a wherein if a person places a child in danger willfully or recklessly placing a child in a dangerous circumstance.

As a result of these violent actions the politician will suffer an “emergency protective order” issued by the police or Court. These quasi-criminal orders are stronger than civil remedies however have a much shorter shelf life and terminate rather quickly.  So it is very necessary that a victim of a Domestic Violence act seek civil remedies as well.  The Emergency orders give a quick remedy for the victim and give them time to plan for a long term restraining order if necessary.

He will face a stiffer penalty if he goes through a divorce.  As any domestic violence act will be used financially against the other spouse according to California Family Courts.  Spousal support will almost certainly will be implemented.  In addition, child custody and visitation issues will be effected.  Supervised visitation will almost certainly be implemented or no visitation can occur depending how traumatized the children are.

Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act in California and under Family Codes sections 6320-27 a party who is a victim of domestic violence can move to get a restraining order if there is “abuse.”  Usually the Court will grant a 3 to 5 year restraining order against the other party.  This means their would potentially be a no contact order in place for a significant period of time.  And if there are children the restraining order will effect custody and visitation rights of the other party.  Even a politician facing these kind of charges will suffer greatly under a criminal and family law setting.