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Robert S. Toale Motto
  • New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney

Louisiana COVID Domestic Violence Arrests

Quarantines and stay-at-home orders resulting from the COVID-19 emergency have led to a rise in domestic violence cases and arrests, according to a recent article in The New York Times. As that article highlights, state orders like the Stay at Home Order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards in Louisiana were designed to restrict movement to limit the spread of the coronavirus. However, in many cases, requiring people to remain in close proximity to one another can actually result in an increase in family violence. Although Louisiana’s Stay at Home Order officially ended on May 15 and Gov. Edwards signed the order allowing the state to move to Phase One of its reopening plan, the order “specifies that Louisianans should still stay at home as much as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.” Further, the order says that anyone at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should remain home except for essential activities outside the house.

As Louisiana residents remain at home, family violence reports and domestic violence arrests are likely to continue increasing.

Family Proximity and Increase in Family Violence Cases

Domestic violence and reports of family violence often increase when family members are in close proximity to one another. As the article in The New York Times explains, even outside a pandemic situation, summer vacation and other holiday periods usually lead to an increase in domestic violence arrests because families are spending more time together and are in closer proximity to one another.

Unsurprisingly, quarantining and abiding by state orders to remain home are also leading to an increase in domestic violence reports and arrests. More domestic violence hotlines are receiving calls, and law enforcement officials are being called to homes for family violence incidents. Moreover, studies have suggested that natural disasters are tied to an uptick in interpersonal or domestic violence cases. While the pandemic closures do not represent a natural disaster in the typical sense, the moment in time does have similarities with other disasters.

Learning More About Domestic Violence in Louisiana

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), family violence and abuse is a serious problem in Louisiana and many people face criminal charges. More than 80 percent of women who are homicide victims in Louisiana are killed by a partner or ex-partner. About 1 in every 3 women and 1 in every 4 men in the country have been victims of domestic violence in some form. Outside the pandemic context, domestic violence hotlines receive about 21,000 calls per day, and that number has risen significantly in recent months.

If you are facing domestic violence charges in New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana, it is important to know that the state takes these charges very seriously. Indeed, the offense of “domestic abuse battery” is a misdemeanor offense for a first-time charge under Louisiana law,  while subsequent offenses can be charged as felonies. If you are convicted of a domestic abuse crime in the state, not only can you risk losing child custody and facing other social penalties, but you can also end up doing jail time and having a criminal record. It is essential to work on your defense with an experienced attorney.

Contact an Experienced Louisiana Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing false accusations of domestic violence, it is extremely important to have an experienced Louisiana criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact the Law Office of Robert S. Toale to learn more about how we can help with your defense strategy.

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