Should police have discretion in whether to make an arrest in a Domestic Violence situation? Explain.?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello Piper. Years ago, it was a standard practice for an Officer to use discretion when responding to a domestic violence situation. If it was a yelling match that the neighbors called in, the Officer usually told the husband to go stay with a friend for the night and patch things up in the morning.

    A situation came about years ago that lead to Meagan's Law, which is now the basis used in all domestic violence cases. As noted above, the husband agreed with the Officer to leave the domicile for the night. Two hours later, he returned and killed his spouse. The Officers were tried and found guilty of malfeasance in releasing the man versus arresting him. This has now established precedence and has created numerous laws ( such as Verbal Intimidation ) which demand that when responding in ANY situation, someone or both are going to jail. The Judge will determine who is at fault later.

    In answer to your specific question, there cannot be any discretionary calls made for a domestic situation due to Meagan's Law. It was enacted for valid reasons which still stand today.

    I hope this helps and you can find it useful

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think so. I am glad many States have taken the position that, if there are evident injuries to either party, an arrest must be made. Too many people (mostly women) use the police as referees. they call, but refuse to press charges. All this does is waste police time and let the offender get away again. If there are no injuries, most police just talk to the people involved, and leave.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The police generally have discretion in arresting people. They should be trained to assess a situation, domestic or otherwise.

  • Matt
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    No. Once they get there as long as there is any kind of proof to injury to any party then one or both of them are going to jail. Even if the person who was beat doesn't want to press charges against their partner the police officer can and will press charges against the offender themselves. Which is rightfully so because alot of times its a neighbor or someone else that calls the cops and in alot of domestic violence situations the person assaulted doesn't want to see their partner go to jail.

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  • 1 decade ago


    Source(s): I am a retired police officer. I retired as a sergeant, after 29 years, from a very large department, about 12,000 officers. I was a patrol officer for 4 years in a very diverse area. I was a tactical officer in the high rise project areas of my city. We called it vertical patrol in that we walked the the stairways of the high rises most of the time. I did that for 5 years and was promoted by test to detective. I worked violent crime (homicide, sex, officer involved shootings, robbery, kidnapping, serious non property incidents) for 11 years until I was promoted to sergeant. I worked as a street supervisor, a bicycle patrol supervisor and a desk sergeant/watch commander. During my time as a tactical officer and a detective I was a unit representative for the police union. I have a B.A in English and an M.S. in Law Enforcement Administration.
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