Domestic violence is different from other kinds of violent offenses. It involves the state intervening in personal relationships between intimate partners, parents and their children, or other people who cohabitate or have close relationships.
Domestic violence charges can cause someone years of hardship, ranging from difficulty with custody issues if they get divorced to the lasting stigma that comes from having a criminal record. When might the Tennessee police decide to arrest someone for an alleged domestic violence offense?
When mandated reporters document physical injuries or complaints
Certain professionals have a legal obligation to notify state authorities if they suspect domestic violence or the abuse of minor children.
Teachers, health care professionals, psychologists and even daycare workers might make a report to law enforcement officials or Child Protective Services, either of which could result in a family facing investigation or a parent dealing with criminal charges. In fact, Tennessee law makes even your neighbors mandated reporters if they notice signs of abuse.
When a neighbor calls the cops
People in long-term relationships and families fight. Arguments are as natural as affection, but sometimes they can get loud or seem dangerous to those not immediately involved. A neighbor concerned for your safety might call the police, only for them to wind up arresting you.
If officers hear or see something upon their arrival that makes them suspect domestic violence, they might arrest and charge one of the people present. They might also make an arrest if they arrive and one of the people in the home has visible injuries that someone else admits to having caused.
When an alleged victim makes a complaint to law enforcement
Although many times domestic violence charges do not involve accusations by a so-called victim, sometimes they do. An individual alleging that another person abused or physically attacked them could reach out to law enforcement and initiate an investigation that causes someone to get arrested and charged with a crime.
If you find yourself facing domestic violence allegations, you have the right to defend yourself. Depending on the nature of the charges and the evidence, you will likely have several options for helping push back against those charges in court.