Holiday Gatherings and Domestic Violence

The holiday season is a great time for Collin County residents to gather with family and celebrate their blessings. But for many people, the holidays are a time of added stress and depression. In some cases, these people may take out their aggression on other family members.

Does Domestic Violence Really Increase During the Holidays?

Every year media outlets claim there is a significant increase in domestic violence during the holiday season. It is not clear whether that is actually true. A 2015 article published by Vice said that many domestic violence support groups actually see a slight decrease in calls between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Vice also cited a 2014 study by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, which found that during a ten-year period “the number of [domestic violence] calls drops dramatically during the holidays.” If anything, according to one domestic violence support group leader who spoke to Vice, there is often an increase in reports after the holidays “when everything has settled down a bit.”

All that said, there are definitely circumstances where the holidays may aggravate an already tense family situation. Family members often bicker during holiday gatherings. But when such bickering turns into arguing, and alcohol is introduced into the mix, things may escalate to the point where someone calls the police.

What to Do If a Family Argument Leads to Someone Calling the Cops

If you find yourself in such a deteriorating family situation, it is important to remain calm. Keep in mind that any aggressive action on your part–even in an attempt to defuse the situation–may be misinterpreted by law enforcement as a possible act of domestic violence. You should also not try to prevent anyone from calling the police. It is a criminal offense, specifically a Class A misdemeanor, to interfere with “another individual’s ability to place an emergency telephone call or to request assistance” from law enforcement.

If the police do arrest you or another family member on suspicion of domestic violence, remember you have the constitutional right not to speak. While it may be tempting to try and “tell your side of the story” to the police at the time of arrest, this is generally a bad idea. What you need to do is contact a Collin County domestic violence lawyer who understands how law enforcement operates in this area.

You may think that speaking with a criminal defense lawyer is an admission of guilt to the police or an overreaction to a “family squabble.” But once law enforcement is involved, it is no longer a family matter. It is a criminal investigation and you need to take it seriously. If you require immediate legal assistance, contact the Collin County criminal defense attorneys at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, right away.

Written by: Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Last Updated : August 14, 2023