When allegations of domestic assault are made in New Jersey, there are instances in which it is mandatory that law enforcement make an arrest after an investigation. Given the long-term consequences that accompany a conviction on charges of domestic assault, it is imperative for those who have been accused of this crime to understand the law regarding this issue.
If a law enforcement officer is called to investigate a domestic violence case, it is required for the victim to sign a complaint and the suspect must be arrested if the victim shows signs of an injury that was caused by the incident. Exhibiting injury and its definition is up to the officer to determine whether or not it was caused during the course of an assault. It can include the victim feeling pain or physical impairment. There may also be probable cause when the officer sees an indication of an internal injury the victim has received.
For an arrest to be made when the victim does not show any sign of injury but claims that one has occurred, the officer must take into consideration other factors to determine if there is probable cause to arrest the suspect. When there are injuries to both parties, the officer must: compare the injuries; look into the history of possible domestic abuse; and consider other possible factors. If emergency service is required, the officer will call for it.
An arrest can also be made if there was a no contact order from one spouse to the other and it has been violated. The officer can verify whether or not there was such an order if the victim does not have a copy. A warrant will automatically mean there will be an arrest. A weapon having been used during the domestic violence allegation will also result in arrest.
Given the numerous ways that a person can be arrested on domestic assault charges, it is imperative to have a grasp on these rules and whether or not there is a reasonable explanation for what happened that might not have been considered at the time of the arrest or if the officer was required by these rules to make the arrest. It’s also possible that the allegations are not true. The most important factor to avoid the long-term issues that come with a conviction is to speak to a legal professional and plan a defense.