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Understanding Wisconsin’s Mandatory Arrest Policy for Domestic Abuse Suspects

 Posted on June 08, 2021 in Criminal Defense

wisconsin domestic violence defense lawyerOne of the most debilitating, malignant, yet elusive social issues that plagues the United States today is domestic abuse. This form of violence occurs more often than anyone would care to admit; the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reported that around 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men reported experiencing physical violence, sexual violence and/or stalking in their lifetimes. Laws surrounding these crimes are now typically punished harshly and when possible, to the fullest extent of the law. In some cases, the officers may have no choice but to arrest the alleged suspect, due to the mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence situations.

How Domestic Arrests are Determined

Wisconsin law outlines a variety of situations in which arrests must be made after a domestic violence call has been made. If the police are called to the scene, they are required to make an arrest if they determine that a person is committing or has committed domestic abuse consistent with a crime against a family or household member, and one of the following is true:

  • The officer has reason to believe that such domestic abuse is likely to continue.

  • Evidence exists that points toward physical injury.

  • The person is the “predominant aggressor.”

Identification of the predominant aggressor is crucial for law enforcement to arrest anyone. However, they can still make arrests even if no predominant aggressor is determined. When determining a predominant aggressor, law enforcement officers are required to consider the following factors:

  • The history of domestic abuse between the individuals involved in the incident, if it can be reasonably gathered, including any information from witnesses to that abuse

  • Statements that are made by witnesses, which may include other relatives or household members

  • Any injuries that may have been inflicted on individuals involved in the situation, and the seriousness of those injuries

  • Whether or not other family or household members fear the person in question

  • Whether or not any threats of harm exist from anyone involved

  • Whether the acts of anyone involved were in self-defense or in defense of any other person

Contact a Waukesha, WI Domestic Abuse Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, or anything relating to domestic abuse, you should speak with a skilled Waukesha County domestic abuse defense attorney. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we can help you form a defense against any domestic violence charges you may be facing. To schedule a time to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys, call our office today at 262-232-6699 for a free consultation.




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