Darien Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you’re arrested for an act of family violence, contact a Darien domestic violence lawyer today for help resolving your case. A top criminal defense attorney can advocate on your behalf during any proceedings and fight for an optimum outcome to your case.
Is Domestic Violence a Crime in Darien Connecticut?
Law enforcement officers and courts take their responsibilities to protect alleged targets of domestic violence very seriously. Prosecutors may push criminal charges through the courts even if none of the parties involved want a prosecution to occur.
As a result, legal representation is instrumental to a positive outcome in domestic violence cases. If you are arrested for domestic violence in Darien, you should take the following steps as quickly as possible:
- Contact a domestic violence lawyer in Darien
- Avoid making statements to any court or law enforcement personnel about the incident without the presence and advice of legal counsel
- Document any injuries to support potential claims of self-defense
- Follow restrictions on all restraining orders, even if the person protected under the order initiates or wants contact, to avoid further felony criminal charges
All too often, the involvement of Family Services immediately following an alleged domestic violence incident can lead to more severe penalties, compulsory attendance at treatment programs, and harsher restraining orders.
What Are Some Common Domestic Violence Offenses in Darien?
Although someone who physically assaults their spouse or intimate partner could certainly find themselves facing domestic violence proceedings in Connecticut, assault is far from the only criminal charge that could merit this classification. Some of the most common charges that Darien domestic violence attorneys see and help defendants effectively contest include:
- Threatening in the second degree, under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-62
- Strangulation, under C.G.S. §§53a-64aa through 53a-64cc
- Sexual assault in spousal or cohabitating relationship, under C.G.S. §53a-70b
- Breach of peace in the second degree, under C.G.S. §53a-181
- Stalking, under C.G.S. §§53a-181c through 53a-181e
- Disorderly conduct, under C.G.S. §53a-182
- Harassment, under C.G.S. §§53a-182b or 53a-183
Depending on the underlying offense, a single domestic violence charge could be anything from a comparatively minor class C misdemeanor offense to a life-altering class B felony. The designation of any of these offenses or any other crime defined under state law as domestic violence does not allow the court overseeing an ensuing criminal case to impose any enhanced or additional criminal sanctions upon conviction.
Will I be Subject to a Protective or Restraining Order?
If you are arrested for any domestic violence crime in Darien, you must appear in Stamford Superior Court on the next business day. At that time, the court will implement a restraining order or protective order, at least for the duration of the criminal case. There are three basic forms of restraining order available:
- Full no-contact protective order, which prohibits any contact between the parties involved in the offense
- Full residential protective order, which allows communication prevents you from returning to the protected person’s home – even if you also live there
- Partial or limited restraining order, allowing contact but prohibiting assaults, stalking, or other harassing behaviors
Since there is some flexibility in the type of restraining order that the court enters at this initial hearing, having legal representation can be crucial to minimizing the impact of a court order on your life. A domestic violence attorney in Darien may be able to advocate for the least restrictive restraining order based on the relevant circumstances.
What Consequences Could Violating a Protective Order Have?
A person who violates any part of a court-issued protective order they are subject to for any reason—even if they do so accidentally, or they are tricked or coerced into doing so by the protected party—may be subject to criminal prosecution over that violation. Specifically, according to C.G.S. §53a-223, criminal violation of a protective order is a class D felony at minimum, and a class C felony if the violation involves threatening, assaulting, harassing, attacking, or “imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty” of a protected party.
Importantly, the potential consequences of a protective order violation are the same regardless of what terms the protective order in question has or what offense initially led to the order being imposed. In many situations, violating a protective order can result in far worse criminal consequences than the original domestic violence offense would have allowed for, even if legal proceedings for that initial charge do not end with a conviction. Because of this, seeking help from a seasoned domestic violence lawyer in Darien can be especially crucial for anyone facing allegations of breaching a protective order in any way. To learn more about violation of protective order charges, click here.
How Could the Family Violence Education Program Help First-Time Offenders?
The Connecticut court system offers several diversionary programs meant to mitigate the impact that charges for a minor criminal offense may have on someone with no prior criminal records. For first-time domestic violence defendants who are accused of committing a misdemeanor crime, the Family Violence Education Program may be a good option for minimizing the long-term effects of their arrest.
Qualified applicants who are accepted into the FVEP must complete weekly classes lasting 60 to 90 minutes for nine consecutive weeks, as well as pay the requisite application and program fees and meet other court requirements. Participants who successfully complete the program are eligible to have their charges dismissed, so they will not show up on any future background checks or public records.
Consult a Darien Domestic Violence Attorney for Assistance
Once the criminal justice system becomes involved in a family violence matter, it can be tough to halt. This can result in a variety of undesired consequences, including jail time, removal from the family home, mandatory attendance at treatment and education programs, and a permanent criminal record.
Fortunately, a Darien domestic violence lawyer may be able to help minimize the impact of these proceedings on your life and pursue the outcome that is best for you and your family. Call the 5-star rated lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today to discuss your case.