Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Domestic Violence.


§ 16–1031. Arrests.

(a) A law enforcement officer shall arrest a person if the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the person:

(1) Committed an intrafamily offense that resulted in physical injury, including physical pain or illness, regardless of whether or not the intrafamily offense was committed in the presence of the law enforcement officer; or

(2) Committed an intrafamily offense that caused or was intended to cause reasonable fear of imminent serious physical injury or death.

(b) The law enforcement officer shall present the person arrested under subsection (a) of this section to the United States Attorney for charging.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, a law enforcement officer shall not be required to arrest a person who is under 18 years of age when there is probable cause to believe that the person has committed an intrafamily offense that does not constitute intimate partner violence.

(2) If a person is not arrested under paragraph (1) of this section, the person shall be diverted to a program that provides behavioral health and community support services.


(Apr. 30, 1991, D.C. Law 8-261, § 2(c)(2), 37 DCR 5001; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 4(g), 56 DCR 1338; Apr. 4, 2017, D.C. Law 21-238, § 102(a), 63 DCR 15312.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1031.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-581.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-368, in subsec. (b), deleted “under section 16-1002” following “charging”.

Cross References

Arrests without warrant by law enforcement officers, see § 23-581.


§ 16–1032. Records.

Any law enforcement officer who investigates an intrafamily offense shall file a written report of the incident with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police force (“Police force”), including the law enforcement officer’s disposition of the case. The Police force shall maintain the written report.


(Apr. 30, 1991, D.C. Law 8-261, § 2(c)(2), 37 DCR 5001.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1032.


§ 16–1033. Civil liability.

A law enforcement officer shall not be civilly liable solely because he or she makes an arrest in good faith and without malice pursuant to this subchapter.


(Apr. 30, 1991, D.C. Law 8-261, § 2(c)(2), 37 DCR 5001.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1033.


§ 16–1034. Training program.

(a) The Police force shall incorporate in its educational program for new law enforcement officers training in:

(1) The nature, dimension, and causes of intrafamily offenses;

(2) The legal rights and remedies available to a victim or perpetrator of an intrafamily offense;

(3) The services and facilities available to a victim or perpetrator of an intrafamily offense;

(4) The legal duties imposed on a police officer to enforce the provisions of this subchapter and to offer protection and assistance to a victim of an intrafamily offense; and

(5) Techniques for handling an intrafamily offense that minimize the likelihood of injury to the officer and promote the safety of the victim.

(b) The training shall stress the importance of enforcing the law against intrafamily offenses. The Police force may:

(1) Utilize the resources of any law enforcement agency or community organization; and

(2) Invite any community organization that provides counselling or assistance to victims of intrafamily offenses to help in planning and presenting the training program.

(c) At least 20 hours of basic training in responding to an intrafamily offense shall be required of any new law enforcement officer prior to the law enforcement officer’s permanent appointment.

(d) Any currently employed law enforcement officer shall be required to participate in an 8-hour course designed to familiarize the law enforcement officer with the dynamics of intrafamily offenses.


(Apr. 30, 1991, D.C. Law 8-261, § 2(c)(2), 37 DCR 5001.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-1034.