Last time, we began discussing the fact that the Fort Lauderdale shooter Esteban Santiago had, prior to the shooting, been arrested and charged in connection with a domestic violence incident. As we pointed, out, it is easy for journalists and the public at large to demonize those accused of domestic violence, and the way some commentators try to draw straight lines between domestic violence incidents and mass shootings is evidence of the bias against domestic violence defendants.
Certainly, it is important to address not only the problem of mass violence, but also domestic violence. A history of domestic violence can act as a predictor of future violent behavior, but it is important to remember that situations involving allegations of domestic violence are not always straightforward and do not always indicate a violent character deserving of the removal of constitutional rights. Each case must be considered based on the specific facts involved and the requirements of the law.
In domestic violence cases, there is not only the need to address the accusations of violence, the evidence supporting such accusations and the procedural protections available to the defendant, but also the secondary legal issues that attend such cases. These can include no contact orders, revocation of gun rights, and even child custody matters.
An experienced criminal defense attorney is not able to address every single consequence of a domestic violence incident, but can certainly address the criminal aspects of such cases. Regardless of specific the circumstances, the goal is always to protect the defendant’s legal rights and to seek the best resolution of the case.