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Domestic violence does not happen because the victim does something wrong – it happens because the

offender chooses to violate another by asserting power and control when he/she has no moral, ethical,

or legal right to do so.

What is Mandatory Arrest?

Mandatory arrest is a policy intended to protect victims of domestic violence and hold batterers accountable for their actions. When a law enforcement officer reasonably believes a person has committed a domestic abuse related crime, the officer must arrest the person and take him/her into custody.  An abuser may be arrested even if the victim does not want him/her prosecuted. 


What is a Charging Conference?

 In Washington County every domestic violence related arrest results in a charging conference in the District Attorney’s Office (DA’s Office).  At the time of the arrest, the officer will tell the victim when the charging conference will take place.


A charging conference is a meeting between a victim of domestic violence and the Victim/Witness Specialist in the DA’s Office.  At the conference, the victim may ask questions about the criminal process and safety planning, and the Victim Witness Specialist will explain the charging options the assigned DA has in filing criminal charges.  As available a legal advocate from Friends of Abused Families will be present at the charging conference to provide resources, support, and injunction services.

Mandatory Arrest &

Charging Conferences

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