A California physician had a spousal argument at the residence. The argument became loud and heated. Police arrived at the residence and questioned the couple. The couple's small child was also present. The police officers urged the spouse to accept an application for a restraining order, which the spouse refused. The spouse also informed the police that the spouse did not want the physician arrested nor charged, and that the spouse did not wish to testify about any domestic abuse since none had occurred. Notwithstanding the protestations of the spouse, the officers arrested the physician and charged felony violations of Penal Code Sec. 273.5 (Domestic Violence) and 273(a) (Child Endangerment). The physician was booked into jail, posted bail, and was released pending arraignment.
Subsequent review by the District Attorney's Office resulted in dismissal of the charges for lack of evidence and a request that bail be exonerated. However, because all such arrests are now automatically reported by the California Department of Justice to state licensing agencies like the Medical Board of California, the physician was soon contacted by an investigator for the Board requesting an explanation for the arrest. After being retained, our office was able to secure the necessary court documents and reports to assist the physician in responding to the Board's investigator. In addition, we were able to assist the physician in communicating with hospital employers to mitigate against any negative impact from the arrest. The Board subsequently sent a letter to the physician advising that the investigation had been closed. No negative impact resulted with the physician's employers.