Charged with Domestic Violence in Stamford?
Domestic violence is a crime that justifiably carries quite a lot of social stigma, in addition to the potentially serious criminal penalties. However, it is very easy for a disagreement to spiral out of control, or for a word or gesture to be misunderstood. If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is critical that your side of the story be told. Enlisting an experienced Connecticut domestic violence attorney can ensure your rights are protected.
Connecticut Definition Is Expansive
Historically domestic violence or family violence was a charge confined to violence between spouses or involving a parent and child. However, Connecticut law explicitly includes multiple categories of relationships as falling under this law, including spouses and former spouses, “persons related by blood or marriage,” roommates, co-parents (whether or not they live together or have been married), and people in dating relationships. The intent is simply to protect as many people as possible.
The law does specifically exclude acts by parents intended to discipline minor children unless those acts constitute abuse. Also, verbal abuse does not count as domestic violence unless there is “present danger” and the “likelihood” that physical violence will occur. This can be a very difficult thing to interpret, and because domestic violence is such a serious crime, very often peace officers may err on the side of caution and arrest a person to hedge their bets, so to speak, or because they feel they have to arrest someone.
If You Are Charged
If you are charged with family violence, it can be tempting to try and talk to your spouse, partner, or family member to try and resolve the issue. However, by the time official charges have been made, it is not a good idea to take matters into your own hands, because in Connecticut, a hearing to determine whether a restraining order or protective order is required is an automatic part of the process. Violation of a restraining order or protective order carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.
The process can be long and convoluted, and it can feel like you are powerless, but having an attorney on your side can help protect your rights, especially when dealing with social workers and law enforcement personnel. Like in the well-known Miranda warning, anything you say after you have been charged can and will be used against you in court, and it is too easy to make a life-changing mistake when the stakes are so high if you try to go it alone.
Call a Fairfield County Domestic Violence Attorney
Family violence is a serious crime, but everyone deserves their day in court. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner has handled family violence cases for years and can put our experience to work for you. Your rights must be protected. Contact a dedicated Stamford criminal defense attorney at our office today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.