Say that you are having an argument with your wife in the apartment complex where you live. The argument becomes pretty heated and, all of a sudden, you’re stomping around and screaming at one another. After some time, the fight settles down some and you two go to different rooms as to not inflict another argument. You’re sitting in the living room when the doorbell rings. Surprise – it’s the police! It turns out, your neighbor at the apartment complex has called the police on you after hearing the fighting. What happens now?
The truth is, calling law enforcement to somebody’s house is not something to be taken lightly. Calling the police on a neighbor should always be a drastic last step, if it is suspected that the fight may turn into something more, something worse. Neighbors live under the impression that you may also remain in the neighborhood for some time and it is not useful to create neighborly animosity. However, if a neighbor feels like something serious could be happening next door, they are permitted to contact the police and have it checked out.
Think back to the argument that you were having with your spouse- what happened? Did you inflict physical pain on your spouse? Was there any battery from either side? Were any criminal threats made that either you or your spouse remembers, or that the neighbor may have heard? In California, there are laws against all of these illegal crimes. Under Penal Code Section 273.5, for instance, it is illegal to inflict corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. And, under Penal Code Section 422, criminal threats could be either a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the severe behavior. If physical contact or injury occurred, then the night will probably end in an arrest.
Of course, if the police officer shows up at your door, you have rights that you may utilize. Follow these steps for the best outcome in this drastic situation:
Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent under California Constitutions. This means you do not have to legally answer any questions and you can instead request your lawyer. When the police arrive to your door, you are both seen as suspects and you can both make this request. There are many situations where not providing a statement can prevent an arrest.
Refuse Photos: You have the right to refuse photographs in many cases. You should always make it clear that you do not consent to photographs.
Emergency Protective Order Provisions: You may have an emergency protective order placed against you. This means that you should obey its standards and remember that a violation could land you in prison.
Make Bail: If the argument ended in domestic violence, your bail could be quite high. This is why you should contact a defense attorney to handle your case.
At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we care about you and your case. In fact, we want to answer all of your questions regarding what you can do if your neighbor calls the police on you or where you should turn if you have been arrested for a crime. Call us today for more information.