Domestic Violence Charge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Few things will drop kick you out of the background and hiring process faster than a domestic violence charge. If you donít think it can happen to you, read on.
Captain Bob: I was DQíd for LA City because my now x-wife and her lover had me charged with domestic violence because she said I would not let go of her wrist during an argument. I appealed and have a chance to have it heard by the appeals board. The have asked me to take a lie detector test (even thought LA City does not require one). They said it would work in my favor if I passed.
CB: If you know you are right, it might be the only chance you have to be reinstated.
Capt: I have been arrested twice for domestic violence. The last time was two years ago. Will this hurt my chances to be hired? Ted
CB: If will be very difficult if not impossible to get hired if this is on your record.
Ted: But, I have my FF1, academy, EMT. This has been a life long dream.
CB: What were you thinking, or you were not thinking when you got arrested not once, but twice for a charge that will keep you from getting hired. Sorry. It is not what you have, but what you have done that will keep you from getting a badge.
Remember what you mother told you. Keep your hands to yourself.
It gets better.
Dear Captain Bob I must be a Fire Fighter and to date have gotten much of my advice from your web site. I need a little more advice. I have been arrested three times all for domestic verbal abuse (my wife and were early in our marriage) and we would scream at each other. I have the louder vice and was arrested three different, times I have never been convicted of anything, and my wife and I haven't had any disputes for almost four years now. The final issue is when I was eighteen I got a ticket for trying to buy ten dollars worth of pot, the Judge told me "Go and Sin no More" and that was the end of the matter. Latter I joined the Army and Today I am a responsible Husband and farther and at the age of 33 have decide to "get my Badge". Can I realistically accomplish my goal? Please any advice you have would greatly appreciated! Don
CB: Check with the arresting agency and Try to obtain your Department of Justice (DOJ) file see if there is a record.
Don: I check with the police department and they had no record. They said I might have just been detained which would not be an arrest record. A friend got my DOJ. It too was clean.
CB: Lucky man. Go and Sin no more!
CB: Don called me that he had been hired and just got out of the academy.
A medic candidate moved his family from southern California to Seattle, so he could be in position for the next test. Although he made the list, he was going to have to wait until they got down to him. In the mean time the pressures built up at home, he lost his house in California to foreclosure, and got in a heated argument with his wife. The police arrived and arrested him for domestic violence. This at a time when he was in background for the next academy. Everything came to a full halt. Fortunately, in the state of Washington, if you complete the counseling and probation program and itís your first offense, you can appeal the court to remove the charge. Now a year later, this has been done. The Seattle list he was on expired. Now itís back to square one.
Once you've been arrested, even if the charge is dropped or expunged the arrest can still show up on your record and you have to explain it.
Where it can cause you big problems is in a psych test. The psychologist would have some direct questions that if you can't answer, you're toast.
Something as simple as the single otherwise unmemorable shove of a girlfriend during a mild disagreement (no Police involvement) ended a particular career path for one truly outstanding young man I know. The girlfriend was not injured, but in the background investigation answered honestly to a very pointed question. It was something the candidate could not deny. An eloquent, prime physical specimen with FF1 and Paramedic and polite as they come, he was credentialed to the high heavens, and would have been an outstanding member of our Department.
I am sad to say he was shown the door.
If he was here, he'd say the same thing I'm about to say... PLEASE watch your P's and Q's.
The all time reality booby price winner though goes to Steve.
Steve had been trying to become a firefighter for more than 10 years. He started working nights in a super market chain to complete medic school. He got his cert, tested and was offered a conditional job offer and was in background. Then it happened.
While having a quite evening with his fiancť, she brought up the issue again of wanting to set the wedding date. You know this one guys? Many women are looking for a ring and a date. Cathy is a few years older than Steve, a high-powered executive and has been divorced twice. Steve had borrowed the money to give her a $6,000 engagement ring. I asked him why? He said the sex was unbelievable. Should have been a few red flags here?
Instead of setting a mutual date six months out that could probably be changed later, he said now you know honey I have to get this job first. This doesnít sit well with the future Mrs.. Things heat up. Now theyíre standing up yelling at each other. Out of know where comes a right hook; from her. Then, another bl*w that knocks off his glasses. As the story goes, not wanting to escalate the incident, he puts his arms around Cathy to try and restrain her.
Things were still brewing when thereís a knock at the door. Itís the sheriff. Neither of them made the call. It was the psycho neighbor they had turned in for child abuse who called. Cute eh?
Scene two, Cathy tells the officer that Steve hit her and showed him a red spot on her cheek. Well, if you donít already know, if the police arrive on the scene of a domestic violence call someone is going to jail and it wasnít the bride to be. Steve gets booked, spends the night in the pokkie and gets bailed out the next day.
As things cool down, Cathy comes forward and says it was my fault I hit Steve. Too late. The legal system had been activated. They know people often will change their stories after the fact. Steveís attorney makes some inroads that it looks like the charges could be dropped. That was until a recently promoted female DA grabs onto the case like a bulldog and wonít let go.
The city where the job offer was made finds out. They pull their job offer pending the outcome of the incident.
I learn more about the story later while talking to Steve. Turns out as they were in the heat of the argument he says OK the wedding is off and I want the ring back. Cathy wouldnít give it to him SOOOO he tried to take it off her finger himself. After he got out of jail he convinces Cathy the wedding was still on, he loves her and could she change things around so he could still get his job. She agrees and changes his story.
Steve now hates Cathy, but he has to pretend like love birds and fake sex to keep her from changing her story back before he gets his badge. In the process Steve finds out that Cathy was more than a few years older and had been divorced three times. Isnít love grand?
Steve is still stuck on getting that $6,000 ring back. I ask him if I could get you that job will you pay me $6,000? He said, YEA. Then take out an insurance policy by letting Cathy keep the ring. Donít ever bring it up again!
As my son Rob wrote:
If youíve been in a bad relationship, and you donít get along with that person, make it easy on everyone and just stay the hell away from him or her. It is so easy for things to get out of hand and then the police arrive. Later you have to explain it to a background investigator.
If you get into any sticky situations that look like they might go bad, there is one solution thatís never failed me RUN LIKE HELL, AND DONíT LOOK BACK.
There are a lot of land mines out there that can keep you from getting a badge. This is one to stay far away from. As Mickey Roonie said after being married 8 times, sometimes you just have to leave the room.
ďThere is no winning. Only degrees of losing.Ē
"Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"
Fire "Captain Bob" Author, Becoming A Firefighter and
Conquer Fire Department Oral Boards