CA Penal Code Section 13701


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 occurred.


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 violence agencies.


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:


Felony arrests.


Misdemeanor arrests.


Use of citizen arrests.


Verification and enforcement of temporary restraining orders when (A) the suspect is present and (B) the suspect has fled.


Verification and enforcement of stay-away orders.


Cite and release policies.


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.


Assisting victims in pursuing criminal options, such as giving the victim the report number and directing the victim to the proper investigation unit.


Furnishing written notice to victims at the scene, including, but not limited to, all of the following information:


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.


A statement that, “For further information about a shelter you may contact ____.”


A statement that, “For information about other services in the community, where available, you may contact ____.”


A statement that, “For information about the California Victims’ Compensation Program, you may contact 1-800-777-9229.”


A statement informing the victim of domestic violence that he or she may ask the district attorney to file a criminal complaint.


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:


An order restraining the attacker from abusing the victim and other family members.


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.


An order awarding the victim or the other parent custody of or visitation with a minor child or children.


An order restraining the attacker from molesting or interfering with minor children in the custody of the victim.


An order directing the party not granted custody to pay support of minor children, if that party has a legal obligation to do so. (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 in counseling.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


Writing of reports.


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 Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 13701’s source at ca​.gov