Are the Police Mandated to Arrest Someone After Receiving a Domestic Violence Call?

January 21, 2023

In California, when police officers respond to a call of domestic violence, they are legally required to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. This is known as the “mandatory arrest” policy, and it is in place to ensure that victims of domestic violence are protected and that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

The reasoning behind the mandatory arrest policy is that domestic violence is a serious crime that can have severe and long-lasting effects on victims, including physical injury, emotional trauma, and even death. By making an arrest in these situations, police officers can intervene quickly to protect the victim and prevent further violence from occurring.

Additionally, the mandatory arrest policy is intended to send a message to domestic violence perpetrators that their actions will not be tolerated. By making an arrest, police officers are able to hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions and send a clear message that domestic violence is a crime that will be punished.

Another reason why police officers always arrest someone in a domestic violence call is that it can be difficult to determine the aggressor in a domestic violence situation. Domestic violence is often a pattern of behavior rather than a one-time event, and the dynamics of the relationship can make it difficult to determine who instigated the violence. By making an arrest, police officers can ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable for their actions and that the victim is protected.

Additionally, police officers are trained to prioritize the safety of the victim when responding to a domestic violence call. In some cases, the victim may be too afraid to press charges or may not want the perpetrator to be arrested. However, police officers must still make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, as their primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the victim.

Furthermore, many victims of domestic violence are reluctant to press charges or testify against their abuser, and the mandatory arrest policy can help to address this issue. By making an arrest, police officers can take the perpetrator into custody and give the victim time to decide if they want to press charges or seek a restraining order.

However, it is important to note that the mandatory arrest policy is not without its criticisms. Some have argued that it can lead to false arrests or that it can be used to punish victims who defend themselves against an aggressor. Additionally, some have argued that the policy can be used to disproportionately target marginalized communities, such as communities of color.

Despite these criticisms, the mandatory arrest policy remains in place in California, as it is considered to be an important tool in protecting victims of domestic violence and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. It is important to note that the policy is not meant to be applied in a rigid or insensitive manner, but rather with sensitivity and discretion, taking into consideration the specific circumstances of each case.

If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence in Southern California, then give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Orange County domestic violence attorney.

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