I’m working on a Law question and need guidance to help me study.
This is a rather interesting change that has happened recently, but it is also a bit more interesting that the laws regarding domestic violence were also changed not too long ago. I think this law perhaps might need to be revisited again because of the changes. Domestic violence law is a 3 strikes rule where the first 2 are misdemeanors and the third is a felony, but the provisions also got changed as well. The law to my knowledge states that you can be charged with BDV (Battery Domestic Violence ) if you are any of the following: dating, wedded/partners, related, or are in a “custodial relationship.”
The only issue is, “Custodial Relationship” is not clearly defined, so, there is now an issue with metro police officers wondering what to do with certain people when they are called out for family disturbance calls according to them. This needs to be included in the article if true because it is a problem borne out of fixing something that didn’t need to be fixed.
I also think that the sad part about the new changes from a bench trial to a jury trial is that it can possibly lead to more harm coming to the victims of these cases because the law was changed to a jury trial, however, I should also note that Metro now has a victim advocate center and has means to protect victims of domestic violence. The victims have resources to go to and Metro provides them, so I think it would also be a worthwhile thing to talk about in the article as well.
The final issue that has me concerned is the provision of people convicted of BDV being allowed to own weapons. A lot of police officers will tell you that family disturbance calls are the most dangerous calls to go on because of how unpredictable it is. The danger factor goes up astronomically when there is a gun involved because now its an even larger officer safety issue. The people involved can easily go from fighting one another before you arrive on scene to turning on you, and therefor that gun is turned on you because you are going to take one or more of them to jail. From then it can become a barricade situation, and then you have to get Crisis Negotiators and SWAT out there; or God forbid a shooting starts because of it. Because I want to join metro at some point, I hope this law does not in fact put me or anyone else in danger when they respond to these calls more than they already are.
I can see why the change was made to jury trials instead of bench trials, because before the change, you could lose your 2nd amendment rights. It’s just an officer safety thing that has me concerned, but at the same time, we don’t want to violate someone’s rights for a misdemeanor (albeit a serious one).