First-Time Domestic Violence Offenses in Greenwich
A first-time domestic violence offense in Greenwich could have dramatic and lasting consequences for both you and your family. A qualified domestic violence attorney could offer guidance and support throughout your case, both with any criminal charges you may face and any additional proceedings in family court.
How Are Domestic Violence Offenses Charged Under State Law?
Unlike some other states, Connecticut state law does not establish “domestic violence” or “domestic assault” as separate criminal offenses. Instead, a variety of different offenses can be classified as domestic violence if they are committed against a family member, household member, spouse, or relationship partner.
One of the offenses most commonly associated with domestic violence is disorderly conduct, primarily because its definition in Connecticut General Statutes §53a-182 is somewhat vague and can be applied to a lot of different situations. Other crimes that law enforcement constantly charge people suspected of domestic violence with include:
- Assault, under C.G.S. §§53a-59 through 53a-61
- Strangulation, under C.G.S. §§53a-64aa through 53a-64cc
- Breach of the peace in the second degree, under C.G.S. §53a-181
- Interfering with an emergency call, under C.G.S. §53a-183b
- Violation of a Criminal Protective Order or Civil Restraining Order, respectively under C.G.S. §53a-223 and C.G.S. §53a-223b
Depending on the severity of domestic violence alleged and the specific statute involved, domestic violence offenses may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies of varying degrees. Regardless of how serious or seemingly minor the consequences of a first-time domestic violence offense in Greenwich may seem, it is always a good idea to speak with legal counsel about the best strategic course of action.
Who Is Eligibile for the Family Violence Education Program?
If someone with no prior criminal record is accused of a domestic violence crime, their best option for preserving their future prospects is often to pursue admission into Connecticut’s Family Violence Education Program. This pre-trial diversionary program is meant for first-time offenders who are charged with a misdemeanor-level domestic violence offense, although those charged with class D felonies or unclassified felonies punishable by less than 10 years in prison may be able to participate in the program if they can demonstrate to the court “good cause” for their admission.
Once an application for the FVEP is filed, the domestic violence court judge overseeing the applicant’s case will schedule a hearing to determine whether admission to the program is appropriate. If the application is accepted and the program successfully completed, a FVEP participant can have their charge dismissed. Dismissal of charges allows you to benefit from Connecticut’s erasure law, as well.
A Greenwich lawyer could discuss with a first-time domestic violence offender whether this program may be available in their situation and work to ensure they can complete it successfully.
A Greenwich Attorney Could Help with a First-Time Domestic Violence Offense
First-time domestic violence offenses in Greenwich can be life-changing if not handled correctly. Retaining a knowledgeable lawyer could put you on the right track towards a positive resolution. Click here to read our certified 5-star reviews on Avvo.com, and call today to learn more about the possibilities available to you.