We all look forward to Christmas and New Year don’t we? Had a family argument?
Apart from the presents, food and drink we also get to spend quality time with our close family. Time your holidays correctly and you can get nearly 2 weeks seeing members of your family every single day – how great is that? Well, not always great it would appear. Year after year we are called either to the police station or consulted at Court by clients charged with assault, criminal damage or public order offences all related to family arguments at the family Christmas get together or New Year’s Eve Party.
Many of you will say that this is what happens in families – you argue, you make up and all is forgotten so why do the police get involved? The reason is very simple – any offence which could be considered “domestic violence” is now given high priority. The old days of “it’s just a domestic” or “they always fight when they have had a drink” will no longer result in the police turning a blind eye. So if husband and wife, parent and child or girlfriend and boyfriend argue and it gets physical then expect the police to get involved. The fact that a complaint and a statement were made in the heat of the moment or to teach someone a lesson often means that charges are likely to follow whether you like it or not. Once statements are made, the decision to prosecute is out of your hands and is solely the decision of the police. If an argument happens in public, then even if neither of the parties involved want to make a complaint, the police can arrest and charge you if members of the public were nearby and could have been upset or felt threatened by what they saw, or heard. It’s amazing how many arguments caught on CCTV end up with the participants facing charges in Court.
So if a fall out you had years ago has been playing on your mind, then maybe bringing it up after a few drinks at your family party may not be the best of ideas! If you do, then a trip to my office might be the end result.
Happy New Year!
Ringrose Law – where individuals Count.