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When can the police arrest you on domestic violence charges?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Domestic Violence Defense |

In Massachusetts, domestic violence is a serious issue that law enforcement handles with urgency and care. The state has specific laws that enable police to take immediate action when they suspect domestic violence. Understanding when police can make an arrest in these situations is important for the legal rights of the accused.

Visible signs of injury

Police officers have the authority to arrest someone without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that the person has committed domestic violence. This often includes situations where an officer observes visible signs of injury on the other person, such as bruises, cuts, or other marks that suggest physical abuse. The presence of injuries can immediately escalate the situation, prompting a swift response from the police.

Reports from witnesses or those attacked

If police receive a call from a neighbor, family member, or another third party about a domestic violence incident, they will respond to the scene to investigate. During this investigation, if they find credible evidence or firsthand accounts from witnesses or the person who suffered the domestic violence attack, they can arrest the suspected abuser. Statements play a crucial role in helping officers determine the need for an arrest to prevent further harm.

Violation of a restraining order

In cases where a restraining order exists—whether it’s a temporary or permanent protective order—an arrest can occur if the individual who is the subject of the order violates any of its terms. This could include contacting the protected person, coming within a certain distance of them, or showing up at their home or workplace. Violating a restraining order is taken very seriously and can lead to immediate arrest to ensure the survivor’s safety.

Recurring incidents

Police also consider the history of domestic violence in a household when making an arrest decision. If there are records of previous incidents, even if the current situation seems less severe, officers may choose to arrest the suspected perpetrator to prevent the escalation of violence.

It is important for everyone to understand when the police can arrest someone for domestic violence in Massachusetts This helps community members recognize the signs of abuse and helps people avoid conducting themselves in a way that the police may see as potentially harmful to others.