Police Arrest Without a Warrant in Minnesota
A peace officer may arrest a person (regardless of where such person is located – and including at the person’s residence) without a warrant if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed domestic abuse within the preceding 12 hours. The arrest may be made even though the domestic abuse did not take place in the presence of the peace officer. Minn. Stat. § 629.341.
A peace officer must arrest a person and take the person into custody (even without a warrant) if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has violated an Order for Protection that restrains or excludes such person from the protected party’s (i.e., the petitioner’s) residence or place of employment. This is required even if the violation of the order did not take place in the peace officer’s presence, but the officer must first be able to verify the order’s existence. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14.
A peace officer who acts in good faith and exercises due care in making an arrest is immune from civil liability that might otherwise result from the officer’s action. Minn. Stat. §§ 518B.01, subd. 14, and 629.341.
Domestic Violence Citations (Generally Not Permitted Under Minnesota Law)
An arresting officer may not issue a citation (in lieu of arrest and detention) to an individual charged with domestic abuse, harassment, violation of an Order for Protection, or violation of a no-contact order. A person who is arrested for any other these charges must be taken to the local city or county jail (or police department) where a citation must be issued in lieu of continued detention by the supervising peace officer or sheriff at the local city or county jail (or police department), unless it reasonably appears to that supervising peace officer or county sheriff that (1) the release of the person arrested poses a threat to the alleged victim, another family or household member, or the safety of the public; or (2) there is a substantial likelihood that the person arrested by the peace officer will not respond to the citation the person is given to appear in court. If the person arrested is not given a citation to appear in court, then that arrested person must be brought before the court without unnecessary delay. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.
A person who is arrested for violation of an Order for Protection must be held in custody for at least 36 hours, but this does not include the day the person is arrested, any period of time falling on a Sunday, or any period of time falling on a holiday while the arrested person is being detained – unless the person who is arrested is specifically released earlier by the court (including any judge or judicial officer). Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Police Must Write a Report
Any peace officer who investigates a report of domestic violence or domestic abuse must write a report documenting the incident as alleged by the reporting party and the peace officer’s own investigative findings. This is required regardless of whether an arrest of a person is made or not. Further, a free duplicate of this report (i.e., a copy) has to be provided to any of the alleged victims in the case (but only upon their request), the alleged victim’s attorney (if any), and any authorized groups or organizations designated to provide any assistance or services to the alleged victims of domestic violence or domestic abuse. Minn. Stat. § 629.341.