In most instances, police officers are required to make an arrest when they are called out to a domestic violence situation. If there is any evidence whatsoever that violence or an assault has occurred, they will arrest one of the people involved and determine whom to arrest based on interviews with any witnesses present at the scene and any other evidence.
During a Mecklenburg County domestic violence arrest, you have inalienable constitutional rights that officers must respect. If you are being investigated for domestic assault, it is imperative that you contact a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney could answer any questions you have about arrests and the criminal justice process, as well as ensure that your rights are protected.
In Mecklenburg County, there are two grounds for arrest that are commonly used. Probable cause and reasonable fear of serious physical injury or death are different reasons that police may intervene, potentially starting a criminal investigation and prosecution.
Probable cause is a very low standard of proof as it simply requires that the accused more likely than not committed the alleged offense. Something as simple as accusing someone of hitting them may be enough to rise to a standard of probable cause for an assault and/or battery charge.
Reasonable fear of imminent serious physical injury or death is the standard of proof for assault defined not by one officer’s subjective perception, but by whether a reasonable person would feel such fear under the circumstances as demonstrated by the evidence presented in court. This is usually used by judges or other law enforcement entities for either issuing ex parte protective orders or otherwise taking action to ensure an alleged victim’s safety. Violations of a protective order may incur additional charges or enhanced penalties.
One of the main differences between a domestic violence arrest and any other type of arrest is that following the charge there likely will be an emergency protective order issued requiring the accused to have no contact with the alleged victim. In many domestic violence situations, that often means the accused must find a different place to live such as when the alleged victim is a spouse or roommate. The accused could also either be held without bond or have the bond not posted until they are able to provide an address where they will live separate and apart from the alleged victim.
A defendant arrested for domestic violence should expect that law enforcement will take them before a magistrate to have a warrant issued and served on them. That magistrate will make an initial determination about whether a bond is appropriate in the particular case. For bond to be posted, defendants must contact somebody to secure and post the monetary bond. If a defendant is unable to post bond, they may need the services of a bail bondsman to get a loan for the money.
If they are held without bond, they should expect to wait in jail until their arraignment when terms of release will be determined. A local lawyer may be able to refer defendants or their friends and family towards a bail bondsman that could help.
If you believe you will be accused of domestic violence, it may be in your best interest to say nothing to law enforcement, withhold consent to any searches or investigations, and call a criminal defense attorney. Any statements made during an investigation will usually be presented as evidence against you in a trial. Because of the serious consequences, you may be facing for domestic violence charges, it is important that a person contacts a domestic violence attorney as soon as possible after Mecklenburg County domestic violence arrests.
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