New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman was suspended for 30 games under baseball’s new domestic violence policy. He is the first player to be suspended under the new rules which were published last August.
Chapman Punished Under Domestic Violence Policy
Despite the fact that Chapman had vowed to appeal any potential suspension, on hearing of the sanctions, he released a statement saying he would not appeal. The suspension is slated to start when the regular season opens.
“I am gratified that Mr. Chapman has taken responsibility for his conduct,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred, “that he has agreed not to appeal the 30-game suspension, and that he has agreed to comply with the confidential directives … to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future.”
The announcement did not give any details regarding additional disciplinary actions Chapman was facing. Potential actions under the policy include: counseling, relinquishing of weapons, and relocation from a home shared with a partner. Any of these actions are confidential under the policy.
Domestic Violence Allegations
According to a police report, Chapman allegedly choked his girlfriend during a dispute at their Florida home. The pitcher then allegedly fired eight shots from a gun into the garage. While Chapman acknowledged firing the weapon, he also said, “I never hurt anyone.”
Additionally, Chapman said: “I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to certain actions, and for that I am sorry.
The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family.”
Despite the fact that after initial investigation, authorities declined to file charges, citing and insufficient evidence, the baseball commissioner is still able to suspend a client under the league’s domestic violence policy. Manfred considered public documents before coming to his decision to suspend Chapman.
“I found Mr. Chapman’s acknowledged conduct on that day to be inappropriate under the negotiated policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner,” Manfred said.
Prior to the suspension, the LA Dodgers had agreed to trade for Chapman, but have since backed off their plans.
Two Additional Domestic Violence Cases in League
The league is dealing with two additional domestic violence cases:
Yasiel Puig, an outfielder for the LA Dodgers, is under investigation following a report that he hit his sister during a bar fight. No charges have been filed.
Additionally, Colorado Rockies infielder Jose Reyes was placed on paid leave. He is facing criminal charges of abuse against his wife.
Domestic Violence can be defined as a “violent confrontation that occurs between family members or between people who live together or are in a dating relationship.” Domestic violence follows a broad spectrum of participants but always involves abuse in one form or another, whether it be physical, psychological or emotional. Whether you are referring to a domestic violence dispute between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, father and son, father and daughter, mother and son, mother and daughter or some other familial combination, domestic violence carries with it longstanding emotional and psychological scars that extend far beyond the physical.
In a large majority of domestic violence cases the woman is most often the victim, however not in all. Weapons are sometimes employed, property is damaged and alcohol and drug use are often at the source. In the state of California, domestic violence is not taken lightly and you should seek legal assistance if you or someone you love has been the victim of a domestic violence situation.
Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Conviction
In terms of Family Law, a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence carries mandatory jail time and can result in the unfortunate loss of custody of your children or visitation privileges. Other negative impacts may be a loss of employment, incarceration, excessive fines and legal fees and possible deportation if not a US citizen.
Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, in the state of California, a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction suggests that your ability to safely care for your children as their primary custodian is questionable. You will be presumed unfit for their ongoing care and responsibility. Losing your children over a domestic violence dispute is a tragic repercussion that impacts all parties involved, most notably your child.
If you have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, according to federal law you cannot legally carry a firearm and if you are a law enforcement officer or military personnel, a domestic violence conviction often signals the end of your career.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence
Regardless of whether a dispute occurs between spouses, domestic partners, boyfriend and girlfriend, parents and children, same sex couples, blood relatives (siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) or housemates – all domestic violence disputes between the above combination of individuals carries the domestic violence charge. Domestic violence misdemeanors remain permanently on your record and can be used against you in future crimes for 7 years following initial conviction. Offenses compound, and aligning yourself with a skilled Pasadena Domestic Violence Attorney is essential to fully understand your rights and to seek a reduced sentence and favorable outcome.
Why It Can Be Difficult
There are many factors that make domestic violence especially difficult for authorities to uncover, investigate, and deter, including the following:
- Lack of reporting by victim for fear of retaliation from abuser
- A victim’s potential financial dependency on their partners’ income
- A victim’s unwillingness to testify against an abuser
- Development of “battered person syndrome”
- Desire to save a dysfunctional relationship
- Guilt and/or withdrawal
Bringing a Domestic Violence Case Against Someone
In California, when a person is charged with spousal abuse relating to domestic violence, there are two common charges. These two charges are: corporal injury to a spouse or spousal battery. Below we outline the differences between the two.
Corporal Injury to a Spouse
Corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant is charged as a felony crime. This charge can be brought when a person willfully inflicts on his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or on any person who is the parent of his or her child, corporal injury that results in a traumatic condition.
“Traumatic condition” is defined by the California Penal code as a condition of the body, such as a wound or injury, regardless of how serious that wound or injury is. Regardless of how slight an injury is, as long as there is an injury, an arrest will be made if police are called to the scene of a domestic violence incident.
Spousal battery is generally charged as a misdemeanor crime. California penal code defines battery as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. A person can be charged with spousal battery when a person commits battery against a spouse, a cohabitant, former spouse, fiancée, or a person with whom the person accused of has previously dated or are dating. Injury is not required for a person to be charged with spousal battery.
It can be very difficult or overwhelming for a victim to bring a domestic violence lawsuit due to fear, or lack of knowledge about how to bring charges. Because of this, it’s always advised that a victim first tries to remove themselves from the situation, by either finding a shelter or safe ground. The next step is contacting a lawyer that can start the legal process of freeing a victim from their abuser.
Hiring a Lawyer for Domestic Violence Charges
If you are the victim of domestic violence, you need to contact a lawyer that will be able to protect you and defend your case. An attorney will be able to protect you and your family via various methods that include getting a restraining order or custody changes. A lawyer will be able to plead your case so that you feel safe and well represented.
33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202
Pasadena, Ca. 91106