Things to consider while reading:
Domestic/Dating violence laws differ from state to state, county to county, and city/township to city/township
This post is in reference to Florida Law
OP is in Law Enforcement and has not been a suspect or accused of DV
A lot of this is basic legal definitions, but I'm pretty tired of reading shit advice saying you will go to jail for no reason.
Posts regarding domestic (also including dating, but from here on out will be referred to as domestic) violence always seem to generate a good bit of discussion, I saw there was a post about dealing with rape charges but none that I could find about possible domestic charges.
- Domestic Violence in Florida is a misdemeanor charge, which is usually at officer discretion to prosecute or write a ticket or dismiss outright. That being said, state law indicates that in DV cases an arrest WILL be made if a primary aggressor can be determined. If both parties have injuries then both parties will be arrested. A primary aggressor is up for interpretation, but if you get cut by your girl and shove her away she is the primary aggressor. If she pushes past you and you clock her in the mouth, you are the primary aggressor.
-Police officers are protected from civil lawsuits in DV cases if they take somebody to jail in good faith that the suspect actually comitted the crime.
- DV is battery. Battery is simply the unwanted touching of somebody else, pending on the victim, this can be simply a smack on the ass, a punch, kick, spit, anything. When great bodily harm is involved or a weapon the charge becomes a felony
-Evidence: Victim simply stating the suspect hit victim is not enough to arrest somebody on. Also, independent witnesses will help clear or indicate somebody is a suspect. Injuries are the most common form evidence used in prosecution of DV, if somebody injures their own person, police cannot prove that the suspect did not do that. I.e. If you didn't actually get physical in an argument and she injures herself, you need to find a way to prove that. This is shitty, but read two points higher. This usually comes out later, but it doesn't mean you wont take the ride for the night.
-Having evidence to protect yourself is very important. If something gets hairy i'd recommend filming it as best you can, audio isn't always the best evidence.
-Nothing indicates that "the male has to go to jail", however, if you punch your girlfriend and she punches you, the likelihood of you being the primary aggressor is much higher considering you are a dude. This is not fair, but it is how the law works. Males and females are different and it is much easier to cause injuries to a female.
Some disclaimers: This is not advice how to Beat a charge, simply the way the system works. If you hit your girl then you broke the law. I'm not a lawyer and I'm not trying to help you not pay your due dilligence for comitting a crime.
I understand TRP is ammoral, however, DV is a crime.
My opinion: Hitting a woman lets "her win" because you have you use your last resource as a male by confronting to violence.
I'll be around for a few hours for any other comments/questions
EDIT: Formatting to make easier to read.