There is no crime called "domestic violence." Instead, the term "domestic violence" describes a pattern of behavior and/or acts by one partner against another partner in an intimate relationship. A domestic violence arrest can occur in the context of a marriage or any other dating/intimate relationship between opposite sex as well as same sex partners. While it is usually the case that the male partner in an opposite sex relationship is the one charged with the abuse, a female abuser can also be charged where the facts warrant. In addition to sexual relationships, family relations, such as children, parents, and siblings can also be the victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.
In the past, police officers called to the scene of family disputes frequently sought to avoid making an arrest. This changed in 1994 when New York State enacted the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act. Under this law, police officers have been left with little discretion. In the case of most felonies, violations of orders of protection, and misdemeanors unless specifically requested not to, the police officer called to the scene of a domestic violence incident must make an arrest. For a (non-criminal) violation, the officer is not authorized to make an arrest unless the violation is committed in his/her presence. What this means is that in almost all cases, if a member of someone's household calls the police to report an act of domestic violence, the alleged perpetrator will be arrested.
In the event you are accused of an act of domestic violence, you will not be able to talk yourself out of an arrest and you should not try. Unless the act is a misdemeanor and the alleged victim asks the police officer not to make an arrest, the officer is required to make an arrest and to fill out a Domestic Incident Report (DIR). When the officer warns you that "anything you say can and will be used against you" the officer is being truthful. There is a strong urge to tell "your side of the story." This urge needs to be resisted. The best and only smart thing you can do is call a qualified criminal defense lawyer who can advise you and begin working on your case. If you have been arrested, I am available to discuss your case and can be reached through this website or by calling (917) 450-7078.