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Legal Information: U.S. Virgin Islands

Statutes: Virgin Islands, U.S.

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December 2, 2019

94. Arrest powers

(a) A police officer, or other peace officer, shall make an arrest without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that a misdemeanor or felony involving domestic violence, as defined by section 91 of this chapter, has been committed by the suspect in violation of a court order or any criminal statute of this Territory.

(b) Any clear and specific written statement by a person alleging that he witnessed the suspect commit an act of domestic violence against another constitutes probable cause for an officer to believe that the offense was committed and probable cause to believe that the suspect committed the offense.

(c) In the absence of a statement, as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the officer shall consider the following factors in determining whether probable cause exists:

(1) whether a victim or a witness alleges that an incident of domestic violence occurred;
(2) whether there are visible injuries, torn clothing, disruption of physical surroundings, or other physical evidence of domestic violence; and
(3) whether the dispatcher indicated a report of imminent violence or violence in progress.

(d) Arrests pursuant to this section shall be made whether or not the offense was committed in the presence of the officer.

(e) The existence of any of the following circumstances shall not be considered in any determination of probable cause to believe that a crime was committed by a person alleged to have committed it:

(1) The victim knows the accused;
(2) The victim has not made efforts to obtain a divorce, or a protective order, or to flee the residence;
(3) The officer believes that the victim will not pursue criminal prosecution, or that the prosecutor will refuse to file charges based on the alleged incident;
(4) The officer believes that reconciliation is preferable to arrest;
(5) There are no witnesses to the incident;
(6) The suspect is not in an agitated or argumentative state;
(7) The victim has called the police on previous occasions; or
(8) The parties have reconciled despite previous domestic violence or issuance of a restraining order.