2) Domestic violence has become among the more common "first offenses" and can be personally devastating to those unfortunate to experience an arrest and prosecution for such a serious crime.
Ever since the O.J. Simpson case, most police agencies have a policy of "no discretion" if they are faced with enough evidence to reasonably believe (i.e., probable cause) that a domestic violence incident has occurred. Often times the alleged victim does not want the alleged perpetrator arrested, however if there's sufficient evidence to support the charge then an arrest is almost always made.
The good thing is, however, if it's truly a first offense and there are no serious injuries to the alleged victim, in many cases a reduction of charges and relatively lenient settlement can be reached with the district attorney.
Of course, one always has the option of exercising one's constitutional right to a jury trial if one chooses. My office usually recommends that all options and possible outcomes be thoroughly discussed first before any decision is made regarding settlement or fighting the case at trial.
In any event, in my experience it behooves someone arrested for such charges to retain an attorney early on to maximize the chances for a optimal disposition of the case.
Part 3 of 3 next time...