Bill would make it more difficult to arrest domestic violence suspect
Bill’s sponsor hopes to protect wrongfully accused people

Feb 05, 2013

CONCORD, N.H. —The Committee on Criminal Justice heard testimony on a pair of bills that would require an officer called to a domestic disturbance to witness an assault or for a criminal complaint to be filed within 12 hours before an arrest can be made.

The sponsor of the bill said it is a measure of protection for those wrongfully accused of domestic violence.

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the measure in part because they said there is no evidence to support an increase in wrongful accusations.

“Statistically it’s just not true,” said Timothy Russell of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.

According to law enforcement, domestic violence is actually an under-reported crime, and victim advocate groups said this bill will exacerbate the problem.

A recent report by the attorney general’s office revealed that the majority of domestic violence cases are never reported to police.

Since 2001, nearly half of the homicides in the state are related to domestic violence.