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Police / Court Procedures

When police are called out for a domestic disturbance, there are specific procedures that are followed both by officers at the scene as well as the Domestic Violence Squad. Upon the arrival at the scene, if probable cause exists, the officer must make an arrest when the suspect is present. If an arrest is made by the responding officer, the following steps are taken:

  1. The suspect appears before a Judge at an arraignment to plea either guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges.
  2. If a guilty plea or a plea of no contest is entered, a sentence may be passed down or a pre-sentence investigation will be ordered.
  3. If a plea of not guilty is entered, a trial date will be set and the victim will be subpoenaed to testify. A sentence will be ordered only if the defendant is found guilty.
  4. If the suspect is not at the scene, or no probable cause existed to make an arrest, a report is taken and assigned to the Domestic Violence Squad where an investigation will take place. The following steps are taken:
    • The domestic report is assigned to an officer who will do an investigation, then decide whether or not there is enough evidence to file for a warrant on the suspect.
    • If the officer files for a warrant, the decision to issue the warrant is that of the County Attorney.
    • If no warrant is issued, the case is not pursued further.
    • If a warrant is issued, the suspect may be picked up at anytime.