A bill that would modify Washington's laws regarding the confiscation of firearms during a domestic violence call has moved forward to the Senate Rules Committee. House Bill 1225 requires that police officers confiscate firearms for five business days following a domestic violence incident, an increase from the current law requiring that firearms are returned after 24 hours.
Under the bill, police are allowed to confiscate firearms and ammunition if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a firearm was used during the domestic violence incident. Also, police officers can request consent to take custody of any firearms and ammunition to which the alleged abuser has access. Police officers would be required to separate the parties involved in the incident and ask whether there are firearms or ammunition in the home owned or possessed by either party, and if coercive or threatening use of firearms has occurred in the past.
In addition to confiscating firearms and ammunition, domestic violence defense attorney Steve Karimi explains the steps that police follow when responding to domestic violence call.
What Does A Police Officer Do When Responding to a Domestic Violence Call?
According to state law, the primary duty of police officers responding to a domestic violence call is to enforce any criminal laws that were violated and to protect the alleged victim. After assessing the situation, an officer may arrest the individual accused of the alleged domestic violence. An arrest is made if the responding officer has probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. To have probable cause to initiate an arrest, officers must have evidence or proof that an act of domestic violence took place. Visible injuries, torn clothing, or broken or damaged personal property are typical examples of evidence in domestic violence incidents that support a finding of probable cause. An officer cannot make an arrest without probable cause.
To protect the alleged victim police officers must advise them of available options that may help prevent further incidents of abuse. An officer will inform a victim that they can stay in a temporary shelter if necessary, and they must give an alleged victim notice of their legal rights and remedies. A victim has the legal right to request a restraining order against their alleged abuser to prevent them from entering the victim's home, business, school, or place of employment. A victim also has the legal right to request that the court issue an order directing their abuser to leave the household. Upon the victim's request, a court may even order a victim full custody over minor children because of domestic violence.
Contact Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges, it's essential to have a skilled attorney defend your rights. With experience as a former prosecutor, attorney Karimi has successfully defended hundreds of clients charged with domestic violence in Seattle and throughout Washington. For help with your case, contact The Law Offices of Steve Karimi for a free consultation by calling (206) 621-8777.