Domestic Violence Defenses in Greenwich
The right approach to domestic violence allegations will vary substantially from case to case. Because of this, discussing domestic violence defenses in Greenwich with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after your arrest is vital to pursuing the best possible legal outcome.
What Are the Differences Between Criminal and Family Court Proceedings?
In a broad sense, contesting domestic violence charges in criminal court works the same way any other criminal charge might. Building a comprehensive defense strategy will generally require compiling as much potentially freeing evidence as possible. In addition, presenting that evidence in a way that challenges specific elements of the prosecution’s case against you is critical.
Fighting a case in family court, on the other hand, can be a much less objective process. This is often because the primary purpose is not to determine whether you broke a particular law but whether you pose a risk of long-term harm to family or other household members. Sometimes, resolving domestic violence allegations can be as simple as showing the court that the underlying dispute has been peacefully resolved or that no such dispute occurred in the first place.
In other situations, a domestic violence defense in Greenwich might function similarly to a criminal defense strategy by pointing out inconsistencies between different parties’ memories of events. It could also require documentary evidence showing no risk of future harm to any family member. In the meantime, it is vital to comply with any protective order issued by the court and only challenge it through appropriate court proceedings. Any violation of such an order—even an accidental one—could result in felony-level criminal consequences.
How Does the Family Violence Education Program Work?
One option that may be available for people in Greenwich looking to defend themselves after a first-time domestic violence arrest is the Family Violence Education Program. Someone who applies for, is accepted to, and successfully completes this program may have their charges dropped.
The program generally entails nine weeks of classes on how violence impacts family relationships, followed by up to two years of supervision by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
However, there are strict conditions imposed on participation in this program. This can include becoming ineligible to apply again should an arrest for domestic violence occur at any point in the future.
Talk to a Greenwich Attorney About Domestic Violence Defenses
Even if you are not found guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, an accusation that you created an unsafe home environment for a family or household member might prompt a court to issue a protective order against you. In addition, you could become host to an investigation through the DCF, and—in extreme cases—action could be taken to remove your children from your custody.
A conversation with a confident criminal attorney about domestic violence defenses in Greenwich can be a critical early step in your unique situation. The lawyers at Mark Sherman Law have years of experience and hundreds of 5-star client reviews, give us a call today to get started.