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Takeaways From My Sheriff's Community Academy Experience

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by 1Sandhya, Feb 7, 2022.

  1. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Finest Post Winner

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    In answer to @Laks09 question, what happens when you call the cops in a DV or abuse case

    Where To Report Domestic Violence.

    @SuiDhaaga has given all the steps reproduced here from the above link

    Ok here is what happened in my case (and in many cases)
    1. Call the police
    2. Police ask for you and your husband's ID
    3. Police keep you PHYSICALLY SEPARATE from husband. Husband will be forced to leave premises.
    4. Husband will lie, make scene, etc. Cops are trained for this nonsense. They will also see this is a Desi household. Cops told me get married to USA person because in India, they even say rape is ok. Seriously, that is what the cop told me.
    5. Cop will tell you how to file a restraining order.
    6. Then the next day you go to Family Court and show this restraining order

    Believe me, Family Court is so much nicer to women and children, especially immigrant women.
    If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be given to you.
    <...>
    Of course your husband will have attorney too, and he will make <...> accusations.
     
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  2. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Finest Post Winner

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    Am I free to go?
    No matter how the encounter started and whether you are at fault or not, the cop will never dismiss you on his own. While taking your statement, he will say ‘just a minute’ and go off. They keep you dangling for hours. Apparently, they have no legal obligation to dismiss you. You have to ask explicitly ask them ‘Am I free to go?” He’s obligated to answer that. ‘Yes you can go if you want.’ Or ‘No, you are not free to go. I am detaining you for further questioning.’ Usually they say nothing and people wait to be dismissed, not realizing they themselves should ask the question.

    The rationale is that the longer the people stand around, the more comfortable they become, let their guard down and blurt something or confess something. They work very hard to lower your guard, to gain your trust so you speak to them openly. They even intentionally play dumb and ask easily correctable questions about unrelated things. So the person feels a bit superior and in control, relaxes and blurts something out to the ‘stupid’ cop who will promptly note it down. No matter how friendly or cheery they are, never forget you are talking to a cop with the power to arrest you and move accordingly.
     
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  3. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Finest Post Winner

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    If you are a fan of watching the crime shows, don’t be misled by them. They don’t follow correct procedure and sensationalize for the sake of drama.
    ---
    Detain Vs Arrest
    You must be familiar with the Miranda rights. They show it in every movie or crime show. When you are put under arrest, the cops read you your rights, and immediately we are supposed to clam up and ask for a lawyer. Now this is not the first step in the investigation as is the common perception.

    Before the cops actually arrest you and mirandize you, you would have already spent hours and hours with them, because they 'detained' you. From something as simple as a hit and run to a more serious crime, officers first arrive on scene, take statements, make you stand around while their crime scene techs gather evidence etc. At some point they may inform you that they are detaining you for more information. At that time you are merely ‘DETAINED”, not arrested.

    Supreme Court has ruled that no Miranda warnings are necessary for 'detainment for the purpose of getting more information'. Everything you say or do will be noted and can and will be used as evidence. All that info is admissible in court and used to build the case. Even the cop car they transport you in to the station is bugged, so that’s not the time to get on the phone and excitedly confess everything to your spouse. All that gets recorded. What was eye-opening to me was the cops get a lot of leeway with this ‘DETAINED to obtain more information’ deal, its not just a formality. They employ it quite a bit, in many different ways to get information. The ‘you are under arrest’ part signals the start of the formal being charged - bail - jail - hearing process.
     
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  4. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Finest Post Winner

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  5. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Finest Post Winner

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    In the US, there are two parallel systems of justice. Law enforcement, courts, DOJ are all part of the Criminal Justice system. If you break the law, steal property, kill someone or do other illegal acts, they are criminal acts. Depending on the severity of the crime they charge you with misdemeanors or felonies. Each charge has a predetermined consequence – x amount of community service or probation or jail time or some combination of that.

    If you don’t get along with your spouse, have communication or transparency issues or fighting all the time, no law or statute is broken. These are civil matters which are resolved in a Family or Civil court. Family court decides divorce, civil suits, alimony, custody kind of issues. It adjudicates disagreements between two civilian parties that are in conflict but not necessarily broken the law. These are law abiding citizens who otherwise follow the rules, pay taxes etc etc.

    When to call 911
    When it is an emergency, when you are imminent danger, when there is a threat to your life, like a home invasion or sudden unexpected unforeseen emergency situation you should call 911. Battered undocumented women who are kept prisoner, treated inhumanely, trafficked, starved and abused also call 911. The officers arrive and rescue you and basically impose a time out, separate the two parties.
    Once officers arrive, the 911 caller is asked if they want to press charges. If the 911 caller is serious about ending the marriage she can press charges and ask the responding officer for a temporary restraining order. He gives her a referral to Family court and the 911 call details are sufficient grounds for it to be granted by family court. In the family court hearing she petitions for divorce. The remaining legal issues including alimony, custody etc are also settled there. Meantime if its a battered woman with no friends or support, she usually stays in a woman's shelter run by a South Asian Women's Organization (SAWO) who help her to get legal redress, find a job, get an apartment - now so many SAWOs are there Sakhi, Sapna, Saheli, Apna ghar, Manavi, Maitri... depending on which state you live in.

    When charges are pressed as a result of a 911 call after Law enforcement officers (LEO) arrive, those are criminal charges. So the battering spouse will be criminally charged. Assault and Battery are criminal felonies and carry jail time. Now immigration rules have been tightened so the person may lose their job or get deported. When the women realize this will be the outcome they lose their nerve and decide not to press charges. The woman may also get pressured (by spouse, family, friends) to drop the case. Criminal cases have a high bar and take long time to prove. The state has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt which takes time. As time passes they start rethinking - was it so bad? Sometimes their own immigration status is the issue. They may go out of status or be unemployed. Many woman naively think that the 911 call taught the spouse a lesson. Usually they are wrong. The guy continues because DV is a cycle. Now he’s careful not to get caught. Other downsides are if they have small kids, it’s very frightening for them to see LEO come to the house and see mom or dad taken away.

    Once the woman drops the charges, it’s like the incident never happened. There will be no record of the case anywhere. The slate is wiped clean.

    This happens quite a bit. Women especially immigrant women call 911 and later recant because consequences are much more severe than they realized. That’s partly why it is said nothing much comes out of calling 911.

    Police and 911 are there to help but they are bound by the laws and their procedures. They can’t do anything if charges are dropped.

    It’s important to be clear in your mind what is your intention, what do you want to be the outcome and then look for the easiest way to get there.

    Family court
    In US, divorce is a civil matter. If the person is having marriage problems, they first go to a counselor. Immigration status, mobility, living situation, kids, employment are not impacted. There is couples counseling or one on one counseling if the spouse doesn’t want to attend. First they will help you clarify your thinking. Sort out what’s on your mind, what is your expectation, what’s reasonable, what’s unreasonable, what is historical grievance, what is the present issue at hand, and most important what can you do if anything about it. They help you find solutions if you don’t want to exit the marriage. You try different things. If that doesn’t work and the fights are getting worse, you get a lawyer and approach family court. You request third party mediation if it’s one or two specific issues or an outright divorce. In family court the caseworker or counselor testifies on your behalf as to your good faith attempts to make the marriage work and your state of mind. And then you get the divorce or the mediation whichever you had requested.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2022
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  6. chanchitra

    chanchitra Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you so much for the detailed information.
    Will help many women in this forum :clap2:
     
  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    I agree . The police then were depicted truly and correctly in movies of Hollywood, Bollywood, Koli wood, moliwood. Their action always ridicules the common sense of ordinary citizens .
     

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