Family relationships are based upon high hopes and strong emotions, and when they end, the situation can become tense and traumatic. At a time like this, actions which would normally be considered acceptable may be interpreted as threatening, and an innocent person could suddenly find himself facing domestic violence charges and in need of a Stamford criminal attorney. Here are some actions to avoid when a relationship falls apart:
Reading your spouse’s password-protected emails and text messages. This communication is considered private, and precedents have been set for criminal charges being levied against a person who was reading a spouse’s emails and texts to discover if an affair was occurring.
Obstructing the other party’s movements. It seems like a simple thing to step in front of your spouse or companion when speaking, and if the two of you are getting along great, no one thinks a thing about it. But if you’re angry and you block that person’s passageway in order to get them to stop and listen, you can be charged with a domestic violence crime such as unlawful restraint or disorderly conduct.
Persistent attempts to contact the other party. You may be anxious to patch things up, work out a reasonable settlement or even demand to see the kids; but if your partner has made it clear your contact is not welcome, you need to let your attorney do the talking. Showing up at the house or work, sending heated emails or persistently calling can result in a charge of harassment. In Connecticut,second degree harassment can be defined as using obscene or threatening language on the telephone, or communicating in any manner in a way that annoys or alarms the other party with the intent to harass. This can even include calling and hanging up without speaking. As a Class C misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is 3 months in jail and a $500 fine. Actually making threats is considered first degree harassment and is a felony, carrying greater penalties. If you are facing harassment charges like these, take them seriously and contact a Stamford criminal attorney immediately.
Following the other party. Regardless how much you hurt, you simply cannot follow the other party around. If your spouse or partner has indicated that they do not want to see you any longer, then you need to resist the urge to continue following them. If your presence is perceived as threatening, you can be charged with stalking.
Ignoring a restraining order. Any person who feels harassed, threatened or endangered by someone can receive a restraining order under certain circumstances. Once the order has been issued, the person is served with the order and given a court date with the opportunity to challenge the information within the restraining order application. If you have been served with a restraining order, then do not make any attempt to communicate with the other party, even if that person initiates the contact. Instead, you should call aStamford criminal attorney to make certain you are well represented in the hearing.
Protect yourself financially. If you and your partner have had joint accounts, be on guard for your spouse or partner to clean out the accounts and pocket away the money. If you are facing charges because of a relationship that has gone bad, don’t try to handle things alone. Put an experienced Stamford criminal lawyer in your corner to fight for your rights so you can get past this obstacle and move toward a better future.
Mark Sherman, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham University of Law, has been a member in good standing of the Connecticut, New York and Florida state bars since 1998. He has offices in Stamford, Connecticut and New York, New York, and practices in both locations. He has been recognized as a top business professional by the Fairfield County Business Journal and has been honored as a “Super Lawyer” by both New England and Connecticut Super Lawyers for 2011 and 2012.