There are unique aspects of Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence arrests. These aspects concern the process for an arrest, how Police Officers determine whether to arrest someone or not, and can even impact someone’s ability or inability to get out on bond. These aspects are nuanced which is why it is important to work with a local Attorney who will understand the complexity of a domestic violence arrest, and can make informed decisions on how to structure your defense.
How Domestic Violence Arrests Differ From Other Arrests
There are many unique aspects of domestic violence arrests that differentiate it from other kinds of arrests in Ft. Lauderdale. From a public policy perspective, Law Enforcement Officers are trained at an early stage to take a proactive role regarding domestic violence arrests.
Arrests for domestic violence cases, even Misdemeanors pursuant to the statute, can be made without warrants and based on probable cause. A lot of other cases, and especially Misdemeanors, require that a Law Enforcement Officer witness the crime being committed before they can make an arrest. In the State of Florida, domestic violence, at least in a Misdemeanor case, is a carved out exception to that.
Also, a Law Enforcement Officer can make an arrest without the consent or without the input of the complaining party. For example, if an individual calls 911 for help claiming that they were the alleged victim of domestic violence, and by the time Law Enforcement shows up the individual has changed their mind about involving the police or requesting an arrest – this is unlikely to change the eventual decision on whether or not to make a domestic violence arrest.
Probable Cause in Domestic Violence Cases
If Law Enforcement makes a determination that there was probable cause for them to believe that an act of domestic violence had occurred, the statutes give them the authority to make the arrest without the consent of the person making the original complaint.
This is one of the unique aspects of domestic violence arrests because in other Ft. Lauderdale cases, a Law Enforcement Officer would ask an alleged victim or the complaining party if they desire to prosecute or are willing to prosecute. If an individual says no and that they just wanted the Police to be called for help and they wanted to take care of it on their own, usually law enforcement officers would take that into account. On a lot of occasions, they may not make an arrest or bring charges.
The legislature has chosen to give Law Enforcement Officers this power in an attempt to curb domestic violence cases and as a public policy decision to become more proactive with respect to domestic violence cases. The bottom line is that it is a lot easier to face an arrest for violence compared to some other types of offenses, given the fact that Law Enforcement has been given a great degree of leeway and power in making arrests for domestic violence.
Domestic Violence and Bond
One of the other unique aspects of domestic violence arrests in Ft. Lauderdale is the issue of bond. A lot of times when an individual is arrested for a crime, they have the ability to post bond prior to seeing a Judge or a Magistrate. For a lot of crimes, there is a standard called bond schedule. If a person gets arrested for a particular crime, it is predetermined what the person’s bond amount would be. If the person cannot bond out, the law requires an individual to see a Judge or a Magistrate within a certain period of time. If the person is able to bond out, either by posting a cash bond or securing the services of a bondsman, the person could be released from custody prior to having that visit in front of the Magistrate.
However, in domestic violence cases, individuals are not allowed to bond out or be released from custody until they see a Judge. That differentiates domestic violence arrests from a lot of other types of cases that Law Enforcement makes arrests on in as much as individuals can be held and or will be held in custody for a longer period of time compared to other types of crimes. A Judge must review the facts and circumstances not only of the charge but make a determination as to whether or not there is probable cause to force an individual to have to post a bond to be released from custody.
In domestic violence cases, they would make determinations regarding contact of the alleged victim, restrictions on movement to where an individual is or is not allowed to go with respect to place of residence or where the alleged victim works, issues of child custody and visitation, issues regarding the condition of somebody’s release, and possible participation in domestic violence or substance abuse treatment. Domestic violence arrests differ greatly from other types of arrests. Call today to discuss defense options for a domestic violence case.