Connecticut Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic Violence crimes are taken very seriously by the Connecticut courts. Too often tempers among family members ignite to a point where police are called and arrests are made. Many times 911 is called during a domestic violence incident in Connecticut and by the time police arrive, tempers have cooled, yet the police are nevertheless required to make arrests.
The Stamford lawyers at Mark Sherman Law are well-versed in defending Connecticut family members against domestic violence charges such as disorderly conduct, assault, harassment, and strangulation. These are charges that are routinely filed in domestic violence court, and likewise carry very stiff penalties, probation, fines, and jail time.
What Happens During Arraignment and At Court?
One unique element of a Connecticut domestic violence charge is that immediately upon arrest, you are ordered to appear in court the very next business day for your arraignment and a restraining / protective order hearing. You will also be asked to meet with one or more court social workers and asked to make statements about the events that led to your arrest. In circumstances like these, anything you say can and may be used against you in your criminal case, so it is very important to have a Connecticut domestic violence lawyer by your side in court that day. Whether it is advisable to make any statements that day depends on the circumstances of your case, so proceed carefully when making statements in court. The attorneys at Mark Sherman Law are available via a 24-hour emergency call service so give us a call prior to your domestic violence court date to allow us to defend you and protect your rights.
The Restraining Order & Protective Order Hearing
During your first domestic violence court appearance, a hearing on a protective order—or criminal restraining order—takes place. This is a very critical court appearance as the Court can order you out of your home, forbid you to have any contact with your husband, wife or even children. It therefore is equally critical to hire a Stamford domestic violence lawyer before walking into court, as your attorney can advocate for a more lenient restraining/protective order that will allow you to begin the healing process with your family members as soon as possible, all while trying to get your pending criminal charges dismissed.
Where Are Domestic Violence Cases Heard in Connecticut?
Fairfield County domestic violence charges are assigned to different courtrooms throughout the county. Domestic violence courts are located in Stamford, Norwalk, and Bridgeport. These courts hear cases once a week and the State assigns a special team of prosecutors, victim advocates, and family relations social workers to assist in the prosecution and disposition of these cases. And while the goal of these teams is to return the family to a safe, living environment, many times those arrested for domestic violence charges can find themselves removed from their home, restricted from seeing their husband, wife and children, and often simply overwhelmed by the court process in general. These variables are precisely why you should contact a Connecticut domestic abuse attorney for assistance with your case.
Department of Children & Families (DCF) Involvement in Domestic Violence Cases
If your children are in your home or are otherwise present during a domestic violence incident, then it is very likely that DCF will be contacted to make sure your children are safe. A DCF investigation will begin immediately and you and your spouse will usually be contacted within 24 hours of the arrest. Remember that DCF is a part of Connecticut law enforcement and anything you say can and will be used against you in your criminal case. Therefore it is strongly advisable to contact a lawyer prior to being interviewed by DCF. Local domestic abuse attorneys at Mark Sherman law are well-versed in working with DCF investigators and will be able to balance your cooperating with DCF against preserving your defenses in your criminal case.
As a victim in a Connecticut domestic violence case, you have many rights that you can exercise in your family member’s criminal case. While the legal team at Mark Sherman Law regularly represent those arrested for a Connecticut domestic violence charge, we often are hired by victims to advocate for them in these cases. As a victim’s attorney, we can fight for tougher restraining orders, as well as stricter conditions of release such as anger management counseling and alcohol and substance abuse evaluation and treatment. And if you are in fear for your physical safety as a victim, we can advocate for a residential stay-away protective order to protect you.
Mark Sherman Law’s in-house victim advocate Christine Bartlett, worked in the Connecticut Court system for over 7 years as a trained victim advocate. Her experience as an advocate for Mark Sherman Law ‘s clients in domestic violence cases has allowed the firm to offer a full array of victim services. For more information on the Firm’s victim advocate services, please contact us today.
Speak With a Connecticut Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are facing misdemeanor and felony charges, then it is critical to hire a criminal attorney who is experienced in handling domestic violence cases. The attorneys at Mark Sherman Law will explore every defense strategy for you and your case, and will attempt to get the charges dismissed through diligent investigative work, negotiation with the State prosecutors, or selecting court-sponsored family violence programs that if completed successfully, could lead to the outright dismissal of your criminal charges and termination of all lingering domestic violence protective and restraining orders.
To speak with a nearby domestic abuse lawyer, or if you have any questions regarding your domestic violence criminal charges pending in Stamford, Bridgeport or Norwalk, contact Mark Sherman Law. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.