LAWS OF NEW YORK, 1997
CHAPTER 4

EXPLANATION—Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ]
is old law to be omitted.

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to warrantless arrests in domestic violence situations

Became a law October 14, 1997, with the approval of the Governor. Passed on message of necessity pursuant to Article III, section 14 of the Constitution by a majority vote, three-fifths being present.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 4 of section 140.10 of the
criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 222 of the laws of 1994, is
amended to read as follows:
(c) a misdemeanor constituting a family offense, as described in
subdivision one of section 530.11 of this chapter and section eight
hundred twelve of the family court act, has been committed by such
person against such family or household member, unless the victim
requests otherwise. The officer shall [not] neither inquire as to wheth-
er the victim seeks an arrest of such person nor threaten the arrest of
any person for the purpose of discouraging requests for police inter-
vention. Notwithstanding the foregoing, when an officer has reasonable
cause to believe that more than one family or household member has
committed such a misdemeanor, the officer is not required to arrest each
such person. In such circumstances, the officer shall attempt to identi-
fy and arrest the primary physical aggressor after considering: (i) the
comparative extent of any injuries inflicted by and between the parties;
(ii) whether any such person is threatening or has threatened future
harm against another party or another family or household member; (iii)
whether any such person has a prior history of domestic violence that
the officer can reasonably ascertain; and (iv) whether any such person
acted defensively to protect himself or herself from injury. The offi-
cer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine who is the
primary physical aggressor and shall not base the decision to arrest or
not to arrest on the willingness of a person to testify or otherwise
participate in a judicial proceeding.
§ 2. The second undesignated paragraph of subdivision 4 of section
140.10 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 222 of the
laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
Nothing contained in this subdivision shall be deemed to (a) require
the arrest of any person when the officer reasonably believes the
person's conduct is justifiable under article thirty-five of title C of
the penal law; or (b) restrict or impair the authority of any munici-
pality, political subdivision, or the division of state police from
promulgating rules, regulations and policies requiring the arrest of
persons in additional circumstances where domestic violence has alleged-
ly occurred.
§ 3. The division of criminal justice services and the office for the
prevention of domestic violence shall promulgate guidelines for police
agencies regarding implementation of this act within 180 days of its
effective date.
§ 4. This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however, that
sections one and two of this act shall take effect 90 days after it
shall have become a law and provided further that the amendments to
subdivision 4 of section 140.10 of the criminal procedure law made by
sections one and two of this act shall not affect the repeal of such
subdivision and shall be deemed to be repealed therewith.
The Legislature of the STATE OF NEW YORK ss:
Pursuant to the authority vested in us by section 70-b of the Public
Officers Law, we hereby jointly certify that this slip copy of this
session law was printed under our direction and, in accordance with such
section, is entitled to be read into evidence.

JOSEPH L. BRUNO
Temporary President of the Senate

SHELDON SILVER
Speaker of the Assembly