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Policing Domestic Violence: The Significance of Charging in the Post-Arrest Decision Making of Police Officers

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During the 1980s many state legislatures enacted laws to address domestic violence cases, including mandatory arrest and warrantless arrest in a misdemeanor domestic violence incident. The domestic violence arrest decision has been extensively examined, but this is not the final decision point for officers. This research examined police officers' decisions when listing criminal charges in domestic violence incidents. Using a vignette research design, data come from 267 police officers in a large department. Most police officers listed the criminal charge that would be expected based on the conditions described in the vignette. Specific factors increased the likelihood of misdemeanor and felony level criminal charges being listed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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