Domestic Violence and DUI Charges Could Increase Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

What happens in times of high stress that are not necessarily caused by us? A reaction that can impact others and lead to your arrest. I have seen it in my over 28 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. When the heat gets turned up by situations beyond our control, we can get into arguments with our loved ones and do things we would not normally do.

Domestic violence and DUI charges are what I have seen come out of these stressful times. And being served with an injunction is usually not far behind.

The Unknowns of COVID-19, Increased Stress, and Domestic Violence

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is something I have never seen during my legal career. It is not like a hurricane where we know it is out there, know when it will hit, and know when it will be gone. This virus is still not fully known to us. We don’t know when it will be an issue in our community, and we don’t know when it will be gone. This will cause incredible stress in our family lives. Even though families deal with these situations, individuals in the family handle stress differently. Some might turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope. I have seen that when you mix substances with stress, domestic violence is usually not far away.

If you are suspected of domestic violence, you could have an injunction filed against you, which could make you homeless.

If you see yourself starting to get stressed out in your house, please try to deescalate the situation by taking a step back and walking away. You could take a walk around the block and calm down before going back into the house. You could also recognize that a situation is getting worse and ask the family member to talk without raising voices or fists. You certainly don’t want to drink and then decide to drive to leave the conflict.

Greater Potential for a DUI Arrest

We anticipate the government limiting the number of people in public, which means fewer cars on the road. If you drink and drive, you will be easier to spot because no one else may be driving. Law enforcement could choose to stop you not because they suspect you of DUI but to tell you to get off the road. If they then smell alcohol on your breath, you could get arrested for DUI.

If you need help navigating the legal system during this stressful time, please call the Fleming Law Group at (727) 202-4858 or contact us online. We will remain open and able to see you, but our St. Petersburg lawyers are also happy to speak with you via video, phone, email, or text.