Domestic Violence & Mandatory Arrest Policies

Since domestic violence is a national issue, the police take alleged incidents seriously. Truthfully, if certain circumstances and facts exist, then law enforcement are required to make an arrest during a domestic violence situation.

Many states enforce mandatory arrest policies that require law enforcement officials to make an arrest. However, most states have enacted preferred arrest policies, which result in either an arrest or a writing a report that justifies no arrest being made.

The following are the domestic violence arrest laws in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.


Massachusetts has a pro-arrest/mandatory arrest policy when it comes to alleged incidents of domestic violence.

According to Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 209a § 6(7), if an officer has probable cause to believe an assault and battery, misdemeanor involving abuse, or a felony has occurred, then the preferred response is an arrest. However, if there is probable cause that someone violated a protective or restraining order or judgment, then the police must arrest the individual.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has a discretionary arrest/mandatory arrest policy.

According to the provisions under N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 594:10 and N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173, If an officer believes a domestic violence offense was committed within the past 12 hours, then the police may arrest the individual. Similar to Massachusetts, if a person violates a protective or restraining order, then the officer needs to make an arrest.

New York

New York is a discretionary arrest/mandatory arrest state.

According to provisions under N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 140.10, If there is probable cause a person committed a domestic violence offense, then an officer may make an arrest. On the other hand, if there is probable cause that a person has committed a felony against a family or household member or a protective order has been violated, then an arrest is mandatory.

If you have recently been arrested for domestic violence in Massachusetts, New York, or New Hampshire, contact Brad Bailey Law to get an experienced and trial-tested criminal defense. Attorney Brad Bailey has defended thousands of state criminal cases and has appeared before hundreds of judges, protecting the rights and freedom of clients facing serious charges, including domestic violence.

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