Prosecution of Weston Domestic Violence Cases
An arrest for a domestic violence offense catapults you into the criminal justice system, with your first court appearance occurring on the next business day. If you find yourself stuck in this scenario, you deserve to understand how the process works. While the prosecutor builds a case against you, your domestic violence defense attorney ensures your rights are protected every step of the way. Reach-out to our office now to learn more about the prosecution of Weston domestic violence cases and obtain the support you need.
What To Expect From the First Court Appearance
Defendants in domestic violence matters make their first court appearance the following business day after their arrest. There, a Connecticut Superior Court judge oversees the arraignment and potential protective order hearing.
A Family Relations Officer will interview the defendant about the allegations, their past criminal history, and their relationship with the family member or roommate claiming the abuse prior to the arraignment. Nothing disclosed is confidential; the judge will receive a full report, so it is best to have a defense attorney at the hearing to avoid self-incrimination.
With additional input from the accused’s attorney and the prosecutor assigned to the case, the judge will also set conditions for pre-trial release, which includes issuing a protective order. In some circumstances, the judge may grant the defendant an opportunity to participate in the Family Violence Education Program, a 9-session course designed to reduce recidivism. Successful completion of the program will result in the dismissal of the family violence charges.
What Is a Protective Order?
Although the alleged victim can apply for a civil restraining order, the judge automatically grants criminal protective orders at the first court appearance as part of the prosecution process for domestic violence cases in Weston. There are three types of restraining orders that may be issued:
- A full no contact order, which prohibits any contact whatsoever with the protected person;
- A residential stay-away, which prohibits the arrestee from entering the protected person’s home, even if it is also the arrestee’s home; and/or
- A partial order, which allows contact but prohibits the defendant from assaulting, threatening, abusing, harassing, stalking, or interfering with the protected party.
Be aware that violating a criminal protective order may have worse consequences than the initial charge. According to Connecticut’s Penal Code, under C.G.S.§ 53a-223, a violation of a protective order is a D Felony carrying a five-year maximum prison term.
How Are Domestic Abuse Cases Prosecuted?
Prosecutors may drop charges in some circumstances including, but not limited to, if they do not have enough evidence and are relying heavily on the alleged victim’s testimony but the alleged victim refuses to participate. However, prosecutors may resort to evidence-based prosecution if they believe they have enough corroborative evidence without the alleged victim’s participation. Such evidence can include the following:
- Medical reports;
- The original 911 call;
- Testimony of wther witnesses;
- Disarray at the crime scene;
- Documentation/police photographs of bruising, cuts, abrasions, and torn clothing; and/or
- Any other evidence that substantiates the alleged victim’s account.
Our team can examine all potential evidence against you and develop a personalized strategy for moving forward in a Weston domestic violence case prosecution in the best way possible.
Let Us Help During the Prosecution of a Weston Domestic Abuse Case
At Mark Sherman Law, our attorneys are well-prepared to defend your rights and advocate on your behalf during the prosecution of your Weston domestic violence case. If applicable, we can also argue for diversionary programs – such as the Family Violence Education Program mentioned above – or present a well-thought-out defense if the case goes to trial. Call us immediately once you are arrested, and visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews to learn about other clients we have helped.