Connecticut Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges are always serious, no matter how they originate, and very often, making them stick can be critical for your safety. However, if you are unjustly accused, this same seriousness means that the accusation will follow you, even if it is disproven later on. Either way, it is imperative to enlist a dedicated Fairfield County domestic violence lawyer to ensure that your interests are represented.
Penalties Are Harsh
Connecticut defines domestic violence (DV) or family violence as an “incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury, or assault,” or an “act of threatened violence” that would encompass any of these categories. It is important, however, to keep in mind that state law explicitly does not include verbal abuse unless it encompasses “present danger” or likelihood that physical violence will occur, which is markedly different than DV laws in other states. The law also clearly states who is meant to be covered by these laws - not only spouses, but former spouses, parents, other blood relatives or those related by marriage who live in the same household, people in a dating relationship, or people who have a child together (regardless of whether or not they live in the same house).
Connecticut does not charge people with family violence, per se; rather, they will charge the person with the underlying offense, such as rape, stalking, or assault with a deadly weapon. Then, if the person is convicted, a notation is entered before sentencing that the crime involved family violence. This can affect sentence length, parole recommendations, and several other factors. While this means that no one in Connecticut is convicted ‘of domestic violence’ per se, it does not mean that the notation is not visible to those who might investigate or do background checks later in life.
Costs Are High
Connecticut is one of 22 states, as of this writing, that mandates that an arrest be made if law enforcement responds to a domestic violence call. While very often, both parties to the call wind up being arrested (markedly more often than in the rest of the United States, according to data from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence), it still means that a DV arrest will appear on your record, which can cause problems for you regardless of your innocence. A protective order may be issued against you. Fines and court costs may pile up.
It is also possible or even likely that if you have children, a DV charge (not even a conviction, but merely a charge) could lead to you losing custody or visitation rights with them. Connecticut law operates in the best interests of the child or children, and if it can be credibly shown that your custody or parenting time would not be in your children’s best interests, you may find your parental rights in danger.
Contact a Stamford Domestic Violence Attorney
Mounting an effective defense against scurrilous domestic violence charges can save your money, your job, and possibly your parental rights, but you need a fighter behind you. Attorney Daniel P. Weiner is the dedicated Fairfield County domestic violence lawyer you need to increase your chances of proving your innocence. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846 for your free consultation.