Quarantines are very hard to deal with. Many people are used to going out to temporarily forget about strained family relationships or other issues. Now, that’s not possible. Additionally, the stress over COVID-19 could be worse than the virus itself. And, there is little way to relieve this worry, since there are only so many movies you can stream and Netflix show episodes. In situations like these, disagreements often end violently.
These issues will not end after the quarantines end. The problems will only shift. Your end-of-quarantine party could make your last New Years’ party look like a school board meeting as the members consider new lunch menus. It’s very easy for things to get out of control. And, once coronavirus restrictions end, police response will probably be rapid and decisive.
A Fizer Bonding Company agent (bail bond near me) does more than get you out of jail if trouble strikes. Bail bonds agents are also excellent resources for answers to your questions about the criminal justice system in general.
Managing Stress and Anxiety About COVID-19
During his inaugural address, former President Franklin Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. He was talking about the Great Depression, but his words might also be appropriate in the coronavirus outbreak as a first defense to keeping your peace of mind.
Most COVID-19 victims recover. The recovery rate is almost 98 percent. But stress and fear can cause permanent brain injuries. And, the brain injury recovery rate due to stress and fear is very low percent. These injuries are usually considered permanent. Fear and stress elevate stress hormone levels in the body. Long-term exposure to these hormones can cause personality changes and other symptoms to the body like increased cortisol.
So, managing fear and stress is critical during a pandemic. Small changes usually make a big difference, and many experts suggest the following small changes:
- When you read news stories, focus on facts instead of opinions.
- Put things in perspective. This pandemic will end, and mankind has been through much worse things than this.
- At the same time, do not blow this off. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
- Avoid the temptation to shame or blame. These things help no one.
- Limit the number of COVID-19 stories you read.
- Take care of yourself. Exercise, sleep, avoid alcohol and drugs, and take breaks when you get stressed.
- Take time for personal meditation or prayer.
Early symptoms of stress-related brain injuries include excessive anxiety over friends and loved ones, trouble concentrating, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, and using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to self-medicate.
Assault and Coronavirus
As mentioned, many assault cases begin with arguments or disagreements which got a bit too heated. Psychology Today explores this further in their discussion of the conditions and circumstances that have contributed to the increase in intimate partner violence and child abuse during Covid-19. In Tennessee, there are basically three kinds of assault:
- Assault by Contact: ABC is basically a harmful or offensive touch. Injury is not an element of ABC. The touch only needs to be intentional, as opposed to accidental. ABC is usually a low-level misdemeanor that’s punishable by a fine only.
- Simple Assault: If the alleged victim required first aid of any kind, even if that first aid was just TLC, prosecutors normally file simple assault charges. This mid-level misdemeanor has serious direct and collateral consequences. Court supervision is extensive even for first-time offenders. Most of the collateral consequences involve adverse effects on a current or future family law case.
- Aggravated Assault: Prosecutors normally upgrade misdemeanor assault charges to felony charges based on the alleged victim’s status or the defendant’s intent. Some people, such as police officers, are in protected classes. These charges are also appropriate if the defendant intended to hurt someone bad enough to put him/her in the hospital.
Jail release is usually more difficult in assault cases. Judges often add additional conditions, such as a no-contact order or electronic monitoring/house arrest.
Stress and fear over Coronavirus might be used as a defense in the future to aggravated assault charges. If the defendant suffered a brain injury, the defendant is arguably incapable of committing a specific intent crime like aggravated assault. Specific intent crimes mean that the defendant intended both the conduct (hitting someone) and the result (seriously injuring someone).
In other assault cases, Coronavirus stress might be a mitigating factor in punishment. The best case scenario is that simple assault becomes tantamount to ABC, and ABC steps down to disorderly conduct (a/k/a drunk and disorderly or public intoxication).
Drunk and Disorderly in Tennessee
Tennessee’s disorderly conduct law is rather unique. 39-17-310 arrests do not go on the defendant’s permanent record. Instead, a disorderly conduct arrest is a protective custody detention. The two most frequent examples of disorderly conduct are:
- Endangering Yourself or Others: When intoxicated people walk across the street or open doors, they are theoretically putting themselves or others at risk. Officers often use this excuse to take individuals into custody who are not causing any problems.
- Unreasonably Annoying Other People: Unreasonable annoyance is one step below offensive or lewd conduct. The line between “reasonable” and “unreasonable” is very fuzzy. However, someone must suffer actual annoyance. Potential annoyance is insufficient. Does this description unreasonably annoy you?
A magistrate may order drunk and disorderly defendants to obtain alcohol counselling, but that’s about the worst thing that can happen.
There might be some indirect consequences, especially during the current decrease in regular traffic during the Coronavirus shut-down. Officers will most likely run warrant checks. In some cases, the consequences of such actions could be quite serious, especially for those that are on the run.
Defenses to Public Intoxication Tickets
39-17-310 offenses do not always hold up in court, especially if the arrest was to occur sometime in the near future during a Coronavirus post-quarantine home party where everyone has had plenty of libations and is pretty close to now knowing what day it is or what their name is.
The law enforcement contact must occur in a public place. The inside of a home is not a public place, and your front yard is not a public place if no one else is around. It’s also possible to challenge the aforementioned subjective elements (unreasonable annoyance and physical danger), but these arguments are harder to win.
According to the CDC and popular advice we are given in these Coronavirus days, keep your head down, stay out of trouble, wear a face mask, stay at home, practice social distancing (6 feet), and wash your hands often (don’t touch your face) and if legal trouble does strike, call Fizer Bonding Company, (bail bonds Clarkville Tn) for 24/7 bail bond services. Fizer Bonding Company is family-owned and a proud member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents. For more info about Fizer Bonding Company bail bonds, click here.
“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”
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