In just a few short weeks, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly changed the lives of not just Americans but people around the globe. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic. The virus continues to spread, directly affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
To limit exposure to COVID-19 and slow its spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued various recommendations.
Guidelines focused on protecting the health and safety of others include:
- Practicing social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others),
- Diligently washing hands, and
- Refraining from holding mass gatherings of more than 10 people
The recommendations have led city and state governments across the nation, Tennessee included, to take various actions to ensure compliance. In some places, people are being ordered to stay at home and can only leave their residence for essential matters, such as buying groceries or going to medical appointments.
Potential Increase in Domestic Violence Cases
As more and more people remain indoors, tensions are likely to rise. The stresses of working or attending school from home, coupled with the fear and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic, can cause people to react to situations in violent ways.
It's important to note that taking frustrations out on others – by causing or threatening to cause physical harm against them – can result in a criminal charge for domestic violence. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, these types of matters are expected to increase and are already up 13% in the last week. And while various aspects of life have been upended in these uncertain times, upholding the law has not.
If a family or household member calls law enforcement officials because of an alleged domestic abuse, the responding officer could make an arrest, and the accused could be criminally charged.
Depending on the circumstances, a domestic violence conviction could result in:
- Jail time
- Loss of gun rights
Defusing Tense Situations
To avoid a run-in with the law, it's best to try to defuse a conflict-filled situation before it escalates into something more.
Some steps people can take include:
- Counting to 10
- Walking away
- Taking deep, calming breaths
- Listening to the concerns of the other party involved
Contact May McKinney for Legal Help
During these uncertain and difficult times, we understand that you might react to stressful situations in a way that you normally would not. If you were charged with a domestic violence offense in Nashville or the surrounding areas, know that our team is here to help you with your case. You'll likely have questions about the criminal justice process, especially now when efforts are being made to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We understand that you might not want to come into the office to discuss your case. That is why we are offering phone consultations.
To speak with us during a free strategy session, call (615) 265-6383 or submit an online contact form.