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  1. #1
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    Default Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Ohio.

    My S/O and I were arguing and several minutes into it we heard talking coming from his pocket. He pulled out his phone and realized he had accidentally called 911 and the call had been connected for 4 minutes before he hung it up. The police knocked on our door 5 minutes later and informed us about the call and said the dispatcher reported it as domestic violence. I informed the officer that my S/O and I just had a harmless argument and he was inside and had just put our son to bed. The police asked to speak with him, so I opened the door and yelled for him to come out.

    My S/O explained what had happened and after telling them about the pocket dial, the 2 officers that were there laughed with us and joked about how they had pocket dialed people before. They just were required to investigate it and after talking to us and taking our names and phone numbers they walked off and we went inside.

    10 minutes later they knocked on our door again and asked for our ss numbers saying we weren't in their system so they didn't have them. I gave them our socials and they thanked us and left.

    My question is, since there was no domestic violence (just a heated argument) and no arrests made, is that the last we will see of them? Is the situation settled or will they return with more questions? And will they call CPS and report this?

    We are worried that the police will call CPS since we have a one year old son. But the police never asked for details about our son and never asked to see him. And I heard the officer tell dispatch that there was no need for backup and he acted like he wasn't concerned about what had happened at all.

    We have had an open CPS case in the past (in a different county) due to my criminal history but our son has never been removed from my custody or care. And the cps case was closed successfully almost a year ago. We are just worried that a careless misdial during a harmless argument (which our son wasn't exposed to) will result in CPS being called. Please let me know what to expect and if we even have anything to worry about. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Quote Quoting 2919.25 Domestic violence.
    (A) No person shall knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to a family or household member. (B) No person shall recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member.(C) No person, by threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.
    if what anybody heard over the phone can substantiate a violation of the law above, the prosecutor could file charges. As you can see it doesn't even require physical contact to violate the law. The police will report what the observed and what they were told. If the evidence supports a charge, the prosecutor will file charges and somebody will be arrested after that time. Personally, given the return visit under the guise of seeking your social security numbers. While it could have been nothing, it may have been used as an excuse to make a second contact or even worse; the police felt it was needed to review the criminal background of one or both of you in anticipation that what they saw and heard does rise to the level of a criminal charges and would be beneficial in determining what charges are filed as a second DV charge automatically escalates the level of the crime.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Quote Quoting happymama86
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    My S/O explained what had happened and after telling them about the pocket dial, the 2 officers that were there laughed with us and joked about how they had pocket dialed people before.
    Get yourself some phone cases that close over the dial pad. They cost a few dollars on Amazon or eBay.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    How long does the prosecutor have to file charges?

    Why would the prosecutor get involved if the police reported they found nothing to substantiate DV?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Quote Quoting happymama86
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    How long does the prosecutor have to file charges?

    Why would the prosecutor get involved if the police reported they found nothing to substantiate DV?
    It's a guess but probably a year to file charges. That isn't unusual for a misdemeanor

    You don't known what the police found or what was heard on the phone. Regardless, if they believe their may be a DV issue they will turn the report over to the prosecutor who reviews it to determine if he believes there are any crimes involved. The police do not decide who is prosecuted. The prosecutor does.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Thank you...so now I guess we just wait and worry about the police knocking on our door with an arrest warrant.... What will happen to our son if one/both of us is arrested? Will they take him from me if only my S/O is arrested? Will CPS be called even if there are no arrests?

    Hopefully the cops don't turn it over to the prosecutor. I'm so worried our family is going to be torn apart all bc of a stupid argument

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    You know more of what was said than i could even guess. Review the law I cited above and think if anything that was said or done could have taken place where what they heard would support it.
    Other than that, yes, it would be a wait and see situation


    its unusual for both parties to be charged. One is usually considered the aggressor and that is who typically gets charged. No promises that both couldn't be charged but typically it's only one or the other.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Quote Quoting happymama86
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    How long does the prosecutor have to file charges?

    Why would the prosecutor get involved if the police reported they found nothing to substantiate DV?
    Depending on the circumstances, the police may automatically forward reports of domestic incidents to the DA. If there was no crime, then nothing will come of it. It's also possible that the incident was cross-reported to CPS as well. Whether CPS will come calling or not depends on their practice and policy.

    Quote Quoting happymama86
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    Thank you...so now I guess we just wait and worry about the police knocking on our door with an arrest warrant.... What will happen to our son if one/both of us is arrested? Will they take him from me if only my S/O is arrested? Will CPS be called even if there are no arrests?

    Hopefully the cops don't turn it over to the prosecutor. I'm so worried our family is going to be torn apart all bc of a stupid argument
    There is no way to predict what may or may not happen with agencies we do not know and involving facts we are unaware of.

    It is unlikely that BOTH parties would be arrested in a DV. But, unless there was some proof of a battery, what kind of charges could be possible? Could they have heard you (or him) complaining about being hit over the phone?

    As for CPS, that's impossible to say. Even if one party was arrested, it is unlikely they would take the child. But, if the arguments continue, then later on that could be possible.

    However, I think you may be worrying way too much. IF something happens, get a hold o fan attorney. Until then, all the worrying in the world will not change what happened and what might happen in the future.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    But, unless there was some proof of a battery, what kind of charges could be possible? Could they have heard you (or him) complaining about being hit over the phone?
    .
    Ohio law does not require there be a battery. Everything needed to charge a person could be determined over a phone call.


    C) No person, by threat of force, shall knowingly cause a family or household member to believe that the offender will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member
    if a party feared they would be hurt, that is adequate to convict on this charge. It is an assault.


    ,

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Accidentally Called 911 in the Middle of an Argument

    Quote Quoting jk
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    Ohio law does not require there be a battery. Everything needed to charge a person could be determined over a phone call.
    Yet, there has to be evidence of a crime. ANY crime. An overhead phone call without ANY corroboration is almost certainly NOT going to reach even the probable cause necessary to pursue criminal charges. If there had been sufficient grounds for an arrest, it would likely have occurred then and there - not later. Unless the officers were unaware of the contents of the phone call. But, I can conceive of very few things said in an overheard phone call conversation that would pass muster for probable cause.

    if a party feared they would be hurt, that is adequate to convict on this charge. It is an assault.
    Did either of them STATE this fear to the officers when they were present? If not, then how do you establish the element of "fear" based upon what might have been overheard words on a phone?
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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