Lumberton Deputy Mayor Gina LaPlaca was recently arrested on allegations of domestic violence for allegedly assaulting her spouse, Jason Carty. LaPlaca faced similar domestic violence allegations against Carty in 2017, although she was apparently the victim in both instances, mistakenly identified as the aggressor. This is substantiated by her husband, who confirms that he was the aggressor in both incidents, was at fault, and did not want her arrested. The unfortunate fact is that police misidentify individuals as perpetrators of domestic violence more often than many people think. Mandatory arrest laws have been a significant factor in the increase in domestic violence charges. If you've been arrested, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit your details online.
NJ Mandatory Arrest Law
New Jersey has a Mandatory Arrest law, under which police must arrest one party in a domestic dispute in certain situations, including if there are signs of injury or if a restraining order violation is involved. The police must try to determine which party is the aggressor and will look to witness statements and types of injuries to try and make this determination. Sometimes both parties will have injuries, and this determination becomes more difficult.
Why Police May Arrest the Wrong Person
Police may be required to make an arrest because the mandatory arrest statute controls, but they have difficulty determining which party was the aggressor. The police may be biased by interaction with the person who called in the incident, who may have blamed the wrong party. Other witness statements may be so contradictory that it is impossible to be certain which party is the victim. Police may look at "defensive" versus "offensive" wounds without the ability to differentiate between them. One party may simply be more vocal and more likely to challenge police, thus giving the impression that they are aggressive when they are, in fact, the victim.
If You Are Charged With Domestic Violence
As this scenario shows, it is easy to find yourself facing allegations of domestic violence, and the consequences of these allegations can be devastating. But no one should face this challenge alone. If you are charged with domestic violence, the Lento Law Firm can help.
Seeking Dismissal of Charges
A prosecutor may dismiss domestic violence charges where it becomes clear that proving the charges will be difficult. Dismissal is more likely where:
- The alleged victim recounts allegations or gives many inconsistent versions of events.
- Physical evidence to corroborate the charges is lacking.
- Witnesses provide inconsistent statements on which party was the aggressor or was at fault.
While the court will not dismiss every domestic violence charge, the Lento Law Firm Team will work to build a tough and effective defense strategy in order to protect your rights and secure the best outcome possible.
Lento Law Firm Team
The Lento Law Firm understands the immense impact domestic violence charges can have on individuals and families. If you or a loved one is facing allegations of domestic violence, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit your details online, and we will contact you.