First-Time Domestic Violence Cases in Fairfield
If you have been cited or arrested for a domestic violence offense and have no prior record of any similar offenses, you may have options for amicably resolving your charges. Understanding and taking full advantage of your rights under circumstances like this can be much easier with guidance from a qualified defense attorney with experience proactively handling first-time domestic violence cases in Fairfield.
What Can I Expect Following an Arrest for Domestic Violence?
In some states, domestic violence is a distinct criminal offense with its own unique definition and penalties described by state law. However, Connecticut treats family violence as an aggravating condition that can be added onto separate charges like assault or disorderly conduct. Rather than allowing for enhanced criminal penalties, a family violence designation changes how ensuing court proceedings will go and what courts and state authorities will be involved in the case.
Pretrial proceedings for domestic violence cases generally start much quicker than those for other types of charges. In fact, individuals arrested based on allegations of family violence are typically required to appear in court the next business morning, sometimes even within 12 hours of their arrest. Once they arrive in court, defendants will have to sit for an interview with a Family Relations Officer, who will then send a report to the judge overseeing the hearing that follows.
During that hearing, the judge may issue a protective order against the defendant intended to last until their criminal case concludes. This order may impose harsh restrictions on that defendant even if it is their first time being involved in a domestic violence case in Fairfield. If there is any suspicion that the defendant’s actions may have harmed their children or put those children in harm’s way, the Department of Children and Families may initiate an investigation as well.
What Are Some Alternatives to Prosecution for First-Time Offenders?
The first time someone is arrested for domestic violence in Connecticut, they generally have a far better chance of convincing the court to dismiss the charges against them if they cooperate with the legal process. Sometimes, this can be accomplished by resolving the dispute which first led to the arrest and having support from the people allegedly harmed by the incident while asking the court to drop the matter. In other situations, courts may agree to use participation in treatment programs for issues like alcohol abuse or anger management instead of pursuing a criminal conviction.
Additionally, first-time domestic violence offenders in Fairfield are often eligible to apply for the Family Violence Education Program (“FVEP”). As knowledgeable legal counsel can explain, successfully completing this program generally entails attending nine classes and no further domestic violence arrests while the program is ongoing. The successful completion of the classes and conditions will result in the charges being dropped.
Talk to a Fairfield Attorney About Options for First-Time Domestic Violence Cases
Although courts are generally more lenient on first-time domestic violence offenders as compared to repeat offenders, that does not mean a positive result is guaranteed for this sort of case. Having support from a seasoned legal professional can be essential to achieving a resolution that protects your and your family’s long-term best interests.
If you are dealing with a first-time domestic violence case in Fairfield, contacting a capable attorney from Mark Sherman Law should be your top priority. Call us today for a consultation, and click here to read what past clients have to say about working with us.