New York authorities take a strong stance against domestic violence offenses. In fact, New York is a mandatory arrest state, which means if police officers deem probable cause exists, they are required by law to make an arrest. While the law is intended to protect possible victims from harm, it can put those innocent but accused of domestic violence in a terrible situation.
For example, suppose you and your significant other are having an argument. Perhaps the argument gets worse and the two of you become very loud and vocal in your disagreement. The neighbors might be alarmed and call the authorities to investigate. If the police officers feel that imminent harm may occur, they could arrest one of you for domestic violence.
In another example, suppose you and your spouse are having serious relationship problems. You fight and argue, but have never resorted to violence. If your spouse is feeling particularly vindictive, he or she may make false allegations of domestic violence against you. Again, it will be up to the police to use their best judgment about making any arrests and they may decide to err on the side of caution.
Without the presence of any gray areas like the examples above, most mandatory domestic violence arrests occur in the following situations:
-- If one party has committed a felonious act against the other party
-- If the defendant has violated an order of protection
-- If the defendant has committed a family offense which violates a protective order
-- Although not mandatory, the police may or may not make an arrest if a misdemeanor family offense has occurred
Hopefully, this has answered your question, but if you believe you have been falsely arrested, you should take steps to defend yourself right away. You will likely benefit from consulting a lawyer about the details of your case.
Source: New York State: Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, "Domestic Violence: Finding Safety and Support - Deciding to Use the Police or Courts," accessed May 19, 2016