Since domestic violence is a serious issue in every state, police departments throughout the country are tasked to protect alleged victims. One of those protections includes having a mandatory arrest policy.
In many states, law enforcement officials shall make an arrest when an officer has probable cause to believe physical injury or the threat of such injury has occurred. Additionally, some of these states may arrest both the alleged aggressor and victim if both accuse each other of committing domestic violence.
However, Florida does not have a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence. Rather, the police may – instead of shall – arrest someone without a warrant if an officer has probable cause that an act of domestic or dating violence has been committed.
Additionally, if both parties accuse one another of domestic or dating violence, law enforcement officials will evaluate each accusation separately. The law also states that mutual arrests are strongly discouraged.
When the primary aggressor is taken to jail, the police will issue a citation in lieu of continued detention. Yet, if a person is a danger to himself/herself, his/her family members, or the public – or is considered a flight risk – then he/she may remain in custody until trial.
The only way the police can make a mandatory arrest in Florida is when a person allegedly commits domestic violence by violating a restraining order, which is also known as an order of protection. Furthermore, the person must be held in custody for at least 36 hours, which does not include the day of arrest, Sundays, or holidays.
Since many domestic violence incidents occur in the heat of the moment, it is not uncommon for one or all parties involved to immediately regret their actions. Unfortunately, even alleged victims do not have the power to prevent arrest or request the charges be dismissed. That is the decision only up to the state prosecutor.
Please note that by reading this blog you are not entering into an attorney-client relationship with Hubbs Law, P.A. This blog only provides general legal information. Every case is unique and you should request a consultation to ensure that you are getting the correct legal advice for your specific case.