|Domestic Violence Offenses
As defined in the new law, the crime of Domestic Violence involves a victim and a perpetrator with one of the following relationships:
Domestic Violence in the 1st Degree
"the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant".
When one of these relationships exists, the following offenses are charged as Domestic Violence and subject to warrantless arrest. (Note that when a warrantless arrest is made on these offenses and the above relationship exists, the charge must be Domestic Violence.)
Domestic Violence in the 2nd Degree
- Class A Felony
- Defined as Assault 1st Degree pursuant to §13A-6-20 with above relationship.
- Second or subsequent offense has mandatory minimum imprisonment of 1 year; if also violation of protection order mandatory minimum imprisonment of 2 years.
Domestic Violence in the 3rd Degree
- Class B Felony
- Defined as Assault 2nd Degree pursuant to §13A-6-21 with above relationship.
- Second or subsequent offense has mandatory minimum imprisonment of 6 months; if also violation of protection order mandatory minimum imprisonment of 1 year.
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Defined as Assault 3rd Degree pursuant to §13A-6-22, Menacing §13A-6-23, Reckless Endangerment §13A-6-24, Criminal Coercion §13A-6-25, or Harassment §13A-11-8(a), with above relationship.
- Second or subsequent offense has mandatory minimum imprisonment of 48 hours; if also violation of protection order mandatory minimum imprisonment of 96 hours.
If an officer receives complaints of domestic violence from two or more parties, (s)he shall:
Certain Officer Threats Prohibited
- evaluate each complaint separately, and
- determine the primary physical aggressor based on prior complaints of domestic violence, the relative severity of injuries, likelihood of future injuries, and whether one person acted in self-defense.
An officer shall not threaten, suggest or otherwise indicate the possible arrest of all parties to discourage the request for intervention by law enforcement.
Basis for Officers Decision to Arrest
An officer shall not base the decision to arrest on the consent or request of the victim, or on the victims willingness to testify.