Kevin Walsh


The mandatory arrest requirement in certain domestic violence situations is unique, due to the fact that no other class of offense requires arrest. The Criminal Procedure Law states that a police officer "may arrest" for all other classes of offenses. The new subdivision states that a police officer "shall arrest a person, and shall not attempt to reconcile the parties or mediate .... ." The use of the word "shall," in contrast to "may," indicates obligation or necessity. Why has this class of offenses been singled out for mandatory arrest? What factors brought this mandatory arrest law about?