My client was in a year long relationship with his girlfriend. It was not a healthy relationship and several months ago, he filed a domestic violence injunction against her. He did not attend the hearing and it was dropped. But, the situation caused bad blood.
Fast forward to the night of the arrest. The couple got into an argument and my client, out of frustration, kicked his girlfriend’s car. It was sort of a back kick. The kick caused a dent.
He offered to repair the dent, but she refused, called the police and he was arrested for criminal mischief. She also filed a domestic violence injunction against him.
He was formally charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief. For some reason, she refused to run the damages through her insurance company. By law, that is her choice, but it is rare. The dent cost $2500 to repair. It was fortunate that this case was filed as a misdemeanor because over $1,000 in damages is supposed to be a felony. That would have changed everything.
The victim, my client’s now ex-girlfriend, was very upset and wanted him punished. I was proactive and had him attend a voluntary 8 hour anger management program. He also offered to pay the full amount of the restitution in advance. Our offer was accepted. He wound up only having to pay a $500 fine.
It was a good result and could have been much worse. Whenever emotions are involved, these domestic related cases have the potential to get out of control. Fortunately, my client listened to my advice and helped himself get leniency. We were lucky to control the situation and resolve the case quickly.