Family Violence: Duties of Police Officers (Part III) Over the last few blogs, we’ve been discussing the integral role police officers have in incidents of family violence. When law enforcement is tipped off that someone is possibly a victim, the goal is to investigate and protect that person, enforce any protective orders that may be in place, and, if necessary, make an arrest.
This blog post breaks down the final piece of those duties (making an arrest), specifically, what the officer is required to do and what they have the ability to do based on their own discretion.
Discretionary vs. Mandatory
Police discretion is the latitude officers have to decide on their own if they want to act on a specific situation (i.e., make an arrest) they weren’t there to see with their own eyes or take a step back and avoid making what could be an unnecessary arrest. Depending on the circumstances, police discretion is perfectly fine.
Examples of discretionary arrests include:
- Arresting any person the officer believes committed an act of family violence, if the officer wasn’t there
- Arresting someone who the officer believes may have violated court orders, if the officer wasn’t there
- Arresting a person the officer believes interfered with a victim’s ability to call for help, if the officer wasn’t there
On the opposite side of the coin, an officer must make an arrest if any of the aforementioned examples happened while the police officer was present and available to witness them happening.
Call Nelson Law Group Today!! Family Violence: Duties of Police Officers (Part III)
When you are faced with a family violence case, the right attorney will give you practical legal advice that you can use to get through the legal difficulties with which you are presented. At the Nelson Law Group, PC, we listen to you and then provide a straightforward evaluation of your case.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available.
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