Election Day is less than a week away. For Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, who recently beat a DUI charge, the timing of this alleged brush with the law couldn’t have come at a worse time. He faces Republican Joe Gardner, who is coincidentally a former law enforcement officer, in the race for the new 48th Assembly District. Gardner secured more votes in the primary, but Democrats state-wide seemed to stay away from the polls.
According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Hernandez was served with an emergency protective order (which is similar to a restraining order) after getting into a fight with a woman at the Lazy Dog Restaurant. She later told investigators that the two were seeing each other and that — back in July — he struck her with a belt, grabbed her by the arms, and slammed her against the wall. She also alleged in the protective order that Hernandez uses cocaine.
Hernandez’s attorney called the allegations “ridiculous” and told the Tribune that his client would submit samples for testing to prove his innocence. He also labeled the timing of the allegations suspicious, considering that the election is less than a week away and the alleged incident happened back in July. He also claimed that the alleged victim is a regular litigant and had filed restraining orders against men in the past.
An emergency protective order is similar to a restraining order in that it requires the restrained party to stay away from the protected party and not contact them. However, the order typically only lasts five to seven days, or until a court hearing can determine whether a restraining order is appropriate. Hernandez’s order expires on Friday.
Assemblyman Roger Hernandez made the news earlier this year for a DUI arrest that happened shortly after he proposed a bill that allows nonviolent offenders to avoid jail through credits for education and vocational training. Despite strong opposition by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and others, the law passed. Hernandez was found not guilty shortly thereafter.
- Consult a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- L.A. County sheriff to take over abuse probe of assemblyman (Los Angeles Times)
- Domestic Violence Information by State (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- MADD Mad About Law to Reduce Jail Time (FindLaw’s Los Angeles DUI Blog)