Domestic Violence and Criminal Procedure

Domestic Violence and Criminal Procedure

The best advice I can give you is in heated arguments with your spouse, keep them low key, without profanity and physically retreat from any confrontation- but that failing this is some of what you need to know. But, it is no substitute for making an appointment to learn more. Call me at 205-987-2005 for an appointment.

In a domestic violence law enforcement officers have authority to make warrantless arrests in several situations. These include situations where the officers conclude that domestic violence has occurred. According to The Code of Alabama Section 13A–?6–134 where a law enforcement officer receives complaints of domestic violence from two or more opposing persons, the officer shall value weight each complaint separately to determine who was the primary aggressor. If an officer determines that one person was the primary aggressor, they will not arrest the other person alleged to have committed domestic violence.

Law-enforcement officer shall consider the following:

  1. Prior complaints of domestic violence.
  2.  Are the Stories consistent with the injuries inflicted on each person.
  3.  The likelihood of future injury to each person.
  4.  Whether one of the persons acted in self-defense.

Law-enforcement officers are not to threaten or otherwise suggest the possible arrest of all parties to discourage the request for intervention by law enforcement or to base the decision to arrest on either of the following:

  1. Specific consent or requests of the victim.
  2. The officers perception of the willingness of a victim or witness to the domestic violence to testify or otherwise participate in a judicial proceeding.

In other words to determine who is the primary physical aggression police officer may consider the following:

  1.  Are the injuries in the nature of self-defense or afflicted by another?
  2.  All the stories consistent with the injuries?
  3. In looking at the crime scene, whose property is destroyed?
  4. Who is in fear?
  5. Are there statements by children or others? Are they consistent?
  6. What is the relative physical size of the parties?
  7. Is there a history of abuse and 911 calls?
  8. What did the 911 call say?
  9. What was the type, use of, and who owned any of weapons used in the altercation?
  10. Who objects to the separation of the parties?

These are the clues which the officer is looking for. Therefore, if you know the officer is looking for these clues be sure to tell the officer who investigates your altercation about these clues in order that he may properly investigate the circumstances of the police call. Likewise, in order to clear yourself of a charge of domestic violence the police will need to know about these clues in a favorable light. The point is, the officer is looking for these clues to make an arrest.
If you have been accused of domestic violence is therefore important to get competent legal advice. Call Henry Lagman at 205-987-2005 to arrange an appointment to discuss your case.
What you don’t know can hurt you- You’re not alone!