Mandatory Arrests for a Domestic Violence Incident
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone will be focusing on domestic abuse in New Jersey throughout multiple blogs for the remainder of the month to raise awareness for victims. We are here to help you.
In New Jersey, there are specific requirements for mandatory arrests involving domestic violence. According to NJSA 2C:25-21, specific circumstances require law enforcement to take alleged abusers into custody. These circumstances typically begin with a claim from someone who is a victim of domestic violence. Police are then required to determine whether any act of domestic violence has actually occurred.
When it comes to determining if domestic violence has occurred, there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. The police must get answers to the following questions:
- Is there any evidence of an injury that can be attributed to domestic violence?
- Does the victim appear to be in pain?
- Could the victim be suffering from internal injuries?
- Is there an arrest warrant issued for the alleged abuser?
- Has the alleged abuser violated a no-contact order? (If the victim does not have a copy of the order, police will attempt to verify its existence. Failure to comply suggests a mandatory arrest)
- Was a weapon used in connection with the act of domestic violence?
Under New Jersey law, police are required to make arrests based on the answers to these questions along with their own observations from the incident. These observations are used to determine probable cause. But in some circumstances, police may use discretion because they may not know the entire story.
When both individuals show signs of injury, the police will attempt to determine if one party was the abuser. They will review previous domestic violence complaints, as well as the extent of the injuries. In some cases, both will be arrested.
In some circumstances, none of the preceding seems to apply to any situation. It could be that the victim claims an act of domestic violence never occurred. Nonetheless, the police do have the authority to make discretionary arrests regardless of what the victim claimed or didn’t claim.
New Jersey police receive extensive training when it comes to protecting domestic violence victims. Although a police officer may not see any injuries, there may be other concerns. This may mean either an arrest or swearing out a criminal complaint. Essentially, this matter will have to continue in court.
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone Can Help
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we are here to help victims of domestic violence throughout New Jersey. If you are a victim of abuse, we want to provide you with the steps needed to ensure your safety. Our office is one call or click away. Contact us today to set up your free consultation so we may discuss this matter further.