Domestic Violence Arrests in Weston
Being arrested on a suspicion that you committed a family violence crime in Connecticut can be a stressful experience with extremely high stakes, even for first-time offenders. Dealing with domestic violence arrests in Weston effectively is much easier when you know what you should expect from the process and what you can do to protect your rights.
Recent Changes to State Law for Domestic Violence Arrests
Until recently, Connecticut law imposed a mandatory “dual arrest” rule on police officers responding to domestic violence disturbances. This effectively required police to arrest all parties involved in an alleged disturbance if they had any reason to suspect that an act of family violence had occurred. In 2019, though, state legislators replaced this rule with a more modern “dominant aggressor” law, following the lead of many other states that have put similar laws into effect over the past few decades.
Under this new regulation, police officers who have probable cause to suspect a family violence crime has occurred are still required to arrest someone, regardless of what relationship the parties involved have with each other or whether the person allegedly targeted by that crime wants or consents to the arrest. Importantly, the arresting officer in this scenario has the authority to decide on their own which party they believe to be the “dominant aggressor” and arrest that person based on certain factors, which include:
- What injuries, if any, each involved party sustained;
- The likelihood of further injury to any involved party;
- Whether one person was acting in self-defense or in defense of someone else, such as a child;
- Any history of family violence between the involved parties; and/or
- The general well-being of potential domestic violence victims.
A qualified attorney can explain more specifically how domestic violence arrests work in Weston and how best to contest an arresting officer’s reasons for making one.
What To Expect After a Domestic Violence Arrest
If someone is taken into police custody or given a written citation following an alleged family violence offense, they have been “arrested” in the eyes of the Connecticut courts and will be expected to comply with all instructions regarding their upcoming prosecution or risk facing substantial criminal penalties. Most notably, the first court appearance—otherwise known as the “arraignment”—happens exceptionally quickly compared to most other criminal cases, usually within 24 hours of a defendant’s arrest.
Missing this initial appearance after receiving a court summons can result in more severe criminal sanctions than those associated with the underlying domestic violence offense. Additionally, not being effectively prepared for your first appearance and any subsequent court dates can severely harm a defendant’s chance of achieving a positive resolution in their case. These are just two reasons among many why contacting legal counsel should be a top priority after being arrested on suspicion of family violence in Weston.
Let a Weston Attorney Help Handle Your Domestic Violence Arrest
When a police officer decides to arrest you for an alleged act of domestic violence, there is not much you can or should do in the moment to contest that accusation or talk your way out of the arrest. Instead, you should remain as calm and cooperative as possible, refrain from providing more information than strictly necessary, and contact a knowledgeable attorney from Mark Sherman Law as soon as possible. Call today to discuss your options following a domestic violence arrest in Weston, and click here to see what our past clients have to say about working with our firm.