Two partners go out for a night together or with friends. After a few drinks, the conversation becomes more animated for whatever reason, usually forgettable. They return home, the tension mounts, heated words are exchanged, insults communicated and an unfortunate backhand caps off the confrontation. The response is a call to the police from one of the parties, a neighbor or a friend who witnessed the whole scene or even just a part of it. The police arrive and inevitably an arrest is made, the offending party is removed, lodged in the police station for the night and taken to a bail court in the morning. In that court, the presiding justice of the peace inevitably places severe restrictions on the activity of the offending party, usually banning the party from returning to the residence, placing a non communication order with the offended partner and often family members.
Meanwhile, the offended party has sobered, realizes what is happening in the cooler time of reflection and wants only to reconcile and not have to go through the criminal process. But it is too late. The case is out of their hands and in the hands of the police and crown attorney who are under strict guidelines to prosecute to the full such outrageous behaviour.
Everyone knows the plague of partner assault, the unbearable tension and fear from mindless violence and the protection of partners and children that is essential. The problem is the unthinking of this otherwise commendable procedure to the cases of almost instant regret as outlined above. In those cases, families suffer, individuals suffer, children are separated from parents family incomes are compromised and bitterness making reconciliation harder is often the unwanted result.
At McLeans Lawyers we have seen the worst examples of abuse, violence and victimization for over 30 years. We have defended people on all scales of guilt or in many cases innocence. Many defences are available including self defence, The system has its own mandate which ignores the human element and tragedy of each instance. Do not let yourself if caught in such a circumstance to be manipulated by the system. We can help and stand ready to do so.