A 911 call comes in to dispatch for a domestic incident, the dispatcher will send an officer to the scene. The officer(s) appear and must make split second decisions based on their observations. Is the victim in danger? Will the officer be in danger? Is there sufficient evidence to file a criminal charge? Does someone need to be arrested? Are the kids in danger? This is no easy task, and the New Jersey officers generally do it with dignity. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Procedures Manual states that if a criminal charge is evident, the officer is required to arrest the abuser. The officer requests a Judge (municipal or superior court) to make a finding of probable cause, this then begins the legal case against the accuser. By filing the complaint for domestic violence, either in the name of the victim or the officer, the officer will be required to appear in court and possibly testify. The victim may also request a Temporary Restraining Order, signed by a Judge. That is a separate court appearance that the officer may be required to attend. This makes the officer’s decision on the scene very important, and requires the officer to be well educated on what constitutes a domestic violence. Once the case moves to court, the police work is not over. There may be restraining orders to enforce, as well as children that need to be protected. The officers must remain vigilant, and may result in an officer being assigned to the case, meaning it becomes their responsibility to keep an eye on the situation and make sure that no further crimes are committed. This can be done through many means, involving randomly stopping in on the house, and occasional phone calls to make sure everything is alright, or just passing by the neighborhood. Not all municipalities take such a proactive approach in every case. Police Officers don’t have it easy when it comes to domestic violence cases, and are often forced to witness graphic scenes and heartbreaking situations. The ability to remain calm and make objective decisions is rare, but the officers of the New Jersey Police Departments possess this skill, and put it to good use every day. No one is perfect. Officers make mistakes. The difference is that when an officer makes a mistake someone gets hurt or you hear about it on the news, and sometimes both. Of course, there are officers who abuse their authority. Fortunately, most don’t. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence there is help for you. There is a national hotline and in Monmouth County 180 Turning Lives Around is ready to help. Select the link for their contact information. If you think a loved one has been a victim of Domestic Violence, see this article for signs.
If you face an immigration challenge we have some valuable resources for you:
- An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court Here I discuss the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being deported. I also discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings.
- Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not I will explain when you need an immigration attorney. Not every needs one. I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
- 7 Critical Questions to ask Before Hiring an Immigration AttorneyIf you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one? I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
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