Chapter 1. General Provisions - California Penal Code Section 13701
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California Laws > Penal Code > Chapter 1. General Provisions - California Penal Code Section 13701
13701. (a) Every law enforcement agency in this state shall
develop, adopt, and implement written policies and standards for
officers' responses to domestic violence calls by January 1, 1986.
These policies shall reflect that domestic violence is alleged
criminal conduct. Further, they shall reflect existing policy that a
request for assistance in a situation involving domestic violence is
the same as any other request for assistance where violence has
(b) The written policies shall encourage the arrest of domestic
violence offenders if there is probable cause that an offense has
been committed. These policies also shall require the arrest of an
offender, absent exigent circumstances, if there is probable cause
that a protective order issued under Chapter 4 (commencing with
Section 2040) of Part 1 of Division 6, Division 10 (commencing with
Section 6200), or Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 7700) of Part 3
of Division 12, of the Family Code, or Section 136.2 of this code, or
by a court of any other state, a commonwealth, territory, or insular
possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, a
military tribunal, or a tribe has been violated. These policies shall
discourage, when appropriate, but not prohibit, dual arrests. Peace
officers shall make reasonable efforts to identify the dominant
aggressor in any incident. The dominant aggressor is the person
determined to be the most significant, rather than the first,
aggressor. In identifying the dominant aggressor, an officer shall
consider the intent of the law to protect victims of domestic
violence from continuing abuse, the threats creating fear of physical
injury, the history of domestic violence between the persons
involved, and whether either person acted in self-defense. These
arrest policies shall be developed, adopted, and implemented by July
1, 1996. Notwithstanding subdivision (d), law enforcement agencies
shall develop these policies with the input of local domestic
(c) These existing local policies and those developed shall be in
writing and shall be available to the public upon request and shall
include specific standards for the following:
(1) Felony arrests.
(2) Misdemeanor arrests.
(3) Use of citizen arrests.
(4) Verification and enforcement of temporary restraining orders
when (A) the suspect is present and (B) the suspect has fled.
(5) Verification and enforcement of stay-away orders.
(6) Cite and release policies.
(7) Emergency assistance to victims, such as medical care,
transportation to a shelter, or a hospital for treatment when
necessary, and police standbys for removing personal property and
assistance in safe passage out of the victim's residence.
(8) Assisting victims in pursuing criminal options, such as giving
the victim the report number and directing the victim to the proper
(9) Furnishing written notice to victims at the scene, including,
but not limited to, all of the following information:
(A) A statement informing the victim that despite official
restraint of the person alleged to have committed domestic violence,
the restrained person may be released at any time.
(B) A statement that, "For further information about a shelter you
may contact ____."
(C) A statement that, "For information about other services in the
community, where available, you may contact ____."
(D) A statement that, "For information about the California
Victims' Compensation Program, you may contact 1-800-777-9229."
(E) A statement informing the victim of domestic violence that he
or she may ask the district attorney to file a criminal complaint.
(F) A statement informing the victim of the right to go to the
superior court and file a petition requesting any of the following
orders for relief:
(i) An order restraining the attacker from abusing the victim and
other family members.
(ii) An order directing the attacker to leave the household.
(iii) An order preventing the attacker from entering the
residence, school, business, or place of employment of the victim.
(iv) An order awarding the victim or the other parent custody of
or visitation with a minor child or children.
(v) An order restraining the attacker from molesting or
interfering with minor children in the custody of the victim.
(vi) An order directing the party not granted custody to pay
support of minor children, if that party has a legal obligation to do
(vii) An order directing the defendant to make specified debit
payments coming due while the order is in effect.
(viii) An order directing that either or both parties participate
(G) A statement informing the victim of the right to file a civil
suit for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical
expenses, loss of earnings, and other expenses for injuries sustained
and damage to property, and any other related expenses incurred by
the victim or any agency that shelters the victim.
(H) In the case of an alleged violation of subdivision (e) of
Section 243 or Section 261, 261.5, 262, 273.5, 286, 288a, or 289, a
"Victims of Domestic Violence" card which shall include, but is not
limited to, the following information:
(i) The names and phone numbers of or local county hotlines for,
or both the phone numbers of and local county hotlines for, local
shelters for battered women and rape victim counseling centers within
the county, including those centers specified in Section 13837, and
their 24-hour counseling service telephone numbers.
(ii) A simple statement on the proper procedures for a victim to
follow after a sexual assault.
(iii) A statement that sexual assault by a person who is known to
the victim, including sexual assault by a person who is the spouse of
the victim, is a crime.
(iv) A statement that domestic violence or assault by a person who
is known to the victim, including domestic violence or assault by a
person who is the spouse of the victim, is a crime.
(10) Writing of reports.
(d) In the development of these policies and standards, each local
department is encouraged to consult with domestic violence experts,
such as the staff of the local shelter for battered women and their
children. Departments may use the response guidelines developed by
the commission in developing local policies.
Last modified: February 16, 2015