First-Time Domestic Violence Offenses in Weston
Any allegation of domestic violence should be taken seriously—even if you are a first-time offender. A conviction in these cases could result in life-altering consequences for you and your loved ones, which is why having a dedicated defense attorney advise you on your first-time domestic violence offense in Weston is crucial to resolving your case in a favorable way.
Understanding the Criminal Process
The entire criminal process may be confusing for someone facing their first domestic violence arrest. In some ways, these cases are the same as any other. After an arrest, the accused will be required to appear at a proceeding known as an arraignment. At the arraignment, the court will ask the accused to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. For some people, this is also the first opportunity to get out of jail following the arrest.
There are also notable differences between domestic violence cases and other criminal charges. For example, a person charged with a family violence offense must meet with a Family Relations Officer prior to the arraignment.
Additionally, it is common for judges handling domestic violence cases in Weston to issue protective orders. These orders may require the accused to avoid any contact with the reporting victim, however judges also have discretion to impose less-restrictive protective orders that merely prohibit acts of violence or aggression but still allow for some contact between the parties.
What Is the Family Violence Education Program?
The Family Violence Education Program (“FVEP”) is available to many first-time offenders facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges in Weston and throughout the state. The FVEP is an alternative to taking a domestic violence case to trial and allows first-time offenders a path to avoid a criminal conviction if they meet certain eligibility requirements. This begins with paying an application and program fee.
Once enrolled in the program, the applicant is required to attend nine family-violence-focused classes. Each class is up to 90 minutes long, and attendance is mandatory. The classes are designed to give the accused the tools they need to de-escalate conflict and avoid family violence in the future.
A person that meets all the eligibility requirements has the opportunity to have the charges against them dismissed after the FVEP is complete. This could be life-changing for the accused, as these convictions can impact everything from access to housing to employment opportunities. Once the charges are dismissed upon successful completion of the FVEP, Connecticut’s Erasure Statute kicks in and effectively leaves you with a clean record as if the arrest never happened in the first place.
Call Our Weston Attorneys to Discuss First-Time Domestic Violence Offenses
When you have been accused of domestic violence for the first time, you should seek the guidance of an experienced attorney right away. Even first-time offenders face serious consequences upon conviction.
To discuss your rights and legal options regarding first-time domestic violence offenses in Weston, reach out to Mark Sherman Law as soon as possible for a confidential consultation, and click here to read what our past clients have said about working with our team.