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    Ridgefield Domestic Violence Penalties

    Police take domestic violence allegations very seriously. Even a minor dispute can result in a multitude of criminal charges.

    It is important for anyone involved in a domestic violence case to understand the implications and potential consequences, to both your record and reputation.

    If you have been arrested for domestic violence, it is a good idea to meet with an attorney well-versed in Ridgefield domestic violence penalties as soon as possible to avoid compounding the offense. Contact a skilled domestic violence lawyer so you can start working toward the optimum resolution of dismissal and expungement.

    Domestic Violence Charges

    Although most people are familiar with the term domestic violence, under Connecticut law, the term used by legislators to defines criminal offenses is actually family violence. Connecticut code defines family violence as an incident between family or household members that results in one of the following:

    Verbal Arguments

    Verbal arguments on their own will not be considered family violence except in cases where there is present danger and likelihood of physical violence.

    Connecticut Code then defines the relationships that qualify to make individuals part of the same household or family for the purposes of family violence law. These relationships include marriage partners, parental units, others related by blood or marriage, those who have lived together or had a child together, and those who have dated.

    Under this broad definition of domestic or family violence, an individual may be charged with specific different criminal offenses with corresponding Ridgefield domestic violence penalties.

    Threatening Arrests in Ridgefield

    One of the most commonly-charged crimes in domestic violence cases is threatening. Connecticut law defines two versions of this offense—first and second-degree threatening.

    Threatening in the second degree is charged more frequently in domestic disputes, and it occurs when an individual either puts another in fear of imminent physical injury or threatens to commit a violent crime to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of causing such terror.

    Second-degree threatening is a Class A misdemeanor. As such, it is punishable by up to imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000. First-degree threatening is more serious and is classified as a Class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

    Harassment Arrests in Ridgefield

    As with threatening, harassment is also a crime with two different categories, with first degree being a felony and a second degree a misdemeanor. Harassment in the second degree consists of intentionally communicating either through electronic means or in writing in a way that is intended to harass, alarm or annoy another.

    Second-degree harassment is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a period of imprisonment for up to three months and a fine of up to $500. If the threat is more serious and committed by an individual with a prior felony conviction, the offense can escalate to first-degree harassment, a Class D felony.

    Domestic Violence Assault Arrests

    The crime of assault is defined as three separate offenses in Connecticut with penalties that increase depending on factors such as the use of weapons, the intent of the individual involved and the severity of any resulting injuries.

    First-degree assault is a usually treated as a Class B felony punishable by a minimum of one and maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.If the assault involves a pregnant woman, the offense could become a Class A felony, increasing the maximum prison sentence to 25 years and the fine to $20,000.

    Second-degree assault is classified as a Class C or D felony depending on the circumstances. Penalties for a Class C felony in Connecticut include a period of incarceration of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

    Third-degree assault, the least serious and most commonly charged in Ridgefield, is a Class A misdemeanor.

    Penalties for Additional Offenses

    Other crimes that may be treated as domestic violence and their maximum penalties include:

    • Disorderly Conduct (the most commonly charged Ridgefield domestic violence crime) – up to 3 months imprisonment, fine of up to $500
    • First-degree strangulation – 0-10 years’ imprisonment, fine of up to $10,000
    • Second-degree strangulation – zero to five years’ imprisonment, fine of up to $5,000
    • Reckless endangerment first-degree – up to one-year imprisonment, fine of up to $2,000
    • Reckless endangerment second degree – up to six months imprisonment, fine of up to $1,000
    • Violation of a criminal protective order – one to five years’ imprisonment, fine of up to $5,000

    Talk to a Ridgefield Domestic Violence Attorney

    As indicated above, Ridgefield domestic violence penalties depend on the circumstances involved in the particular case. Various factors such as the presence of a weapon, a court’s finding of intent, or the severity of any injuries will meaningfully impact the classification of an offense and increase the penalties that may be imposed.

    An experienced and aggressive attorney can provide additional information and explain how the laws apply to different situations. Call today.