Westport Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you were arrested for a domestic violence incident, you should contact a Westport domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. Having representation by a top criminal defense attorney could make a critical difference in the outcome of your case.
What is Considered Domestic Violence in Connecticut?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 46b-38a defines “family violence” as any incident between family and household members that results in physical injury or threats that create a fear of imminent bodily harm.
This broad definition includes, but is not limited to, stalking, assault, and strangulation. Notably, it does not include verbal abuse, arguments, or disciplining of children by parents or guardians, absent a present danger and likelihood that physical violence will occur.
Who are Considered Family and Household Members?
Family or household members in CT include the following:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Parents and their children
- Relatives by blood or marriage
- Persons who are dating or recently were dating and living together or previously lived together
Family and household members also include individuals who share a child, regardless of whether they ever were married or lived together. A domestic violence attorney in Westport can help determine if a particular situation falls within the purview of family violence.
Who is Eligible for a Civil Restraining Order?
Victims of family violence can apply for restraining orders, known as civil restraining orders that can require the aggressor to refrain from threatening, harassing, and assaulting the victim. A restraining order can last for up to one year, and the court can extend it beyond one year if necessary. A court can issue a restraining order even if the accused individuals have never faced an arrest for any crime stemming from family violence.
When Do Criminal Courts Issue Protective Orders?
Criminal courts issue protective orders when individuals are arrested in domestic violence situations. These orders stay in effect until the underlying criminal case is over. Protective orders can prohibit threatening or assaulting family members, returning to the home, or even all communication between the parties.
What is the Family Violence Education Program?
In some cases, individuals accused of family violence may qualify for a pre-trial diversionary program. If successful, this program will end in the charges against them being dismissed.
As part of FVEP, courts may refer individuals to Family Services for additional evaluations or services. A domestic violence attorney in Westport could advise individuals about the FVEP or other options for resolving the charges.
Contact a Westport Domestic Violence Attorney Today
An arrest for family violence can have harsh consequences, depending on the nature of the offense, the severity of the incident, and whether bodily injury occurred. Your arrest will result in an expeditious initial hearing at which you may be facing the prospect of a restraining or protective order, which can result in the court ordering you to vacate your home and refrain from contact with family or household members.
Because domestic violence offenses follow different procedures than other arrests, it is crucial to have a Westport domestic violence lawyer by your side. Call Mark Sherman Law today to learn more about how an attorney could help in your situation.