Family Violence: Duties of Police Officers (Part I) – Family violence is any abusive, violent, or forceful act inflicted by one member of a family on another. Some acts, such as repeated slapping, punching, choking, sexual abuse, and assault with a weapon, are easy to spot by those close to the situation and should be reported immediately. And in a large number of cases, that’s exactly what happens.
There are situations, however, where acts of family violence go unreported, either because the victim is too scared to speak up, family and friends are hesitant to get involved, or the victims don’t know their rights.
This is where law enforcement can be of significant help. When law enforcement is tipped off that there is a possibility that someone is a victim of family violence, the goal is to investigate and protect the victims, enforce any protective orders that may be in place, and, if necessary, make an arrest. Rather than throw all of that at you all at once, this blog will be the first of three posts that will break down each of these duties.
Investigating a possible family violence case
There is a myriad of actions a police officer must take when investigating if an issue of family violence exists. Remember, there could be situations where emotional abuse is more prevalent than physical, and others where someone is being held, restrained, or confined against their will. This can be true for a spouse or child. How quickly law enforcement gets involved and takes action will go a long way in defusing the situation.
Below is a short list of investigative duties police officers have:
- Advise adult victims of ways to prevent further violence
- Provide victims with written notice of their legal rights and available resources
- Protect the victim and be present when he or she needs to remove personal belongings
- At their discretion, escort the perpetrator to the residence to remove personal belongings
When a police officer gets involved, the officer must report the investigation and any positive or negative outcomes. This includes citing the name of the victims and the suspect. Also the date, time, and location of the incident, any injuries, and a brief description.
In the next blog post, we will discuss a police officer’s duty to enforce protective orders, when necessary.
Family Violence: Duties of Police Officers – Call Nelson Law Group Today!!
When you are faced with a family violence case, the right attorney. One that will give you practical legal advice that you can use to get through the legal difficulties. 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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