Connecticut Domestic Violence Lawyers
At the law firm of Berman & Russo, Attorneys at Law, our domestic violence lawyers advise and represent people facing the full range of domestic violence charges in central or eastern Connecticut. We provide counsel at all stages of a domestic violence case, from seeking relief from a protective order or restraining order to defense at trial of felony charges of domestic assault or violation of a protective order. Remember: violation of a court-ordered protective order is a felony in Connecticut. Speak to us about the charges before you speak to the police, if possible. Contact us in South Windsor to speak with a domestic violence lawyer for a free consultation about your situation.
Family violence is a defined set of criminal offenses in Connecticut that include assault, battery, stalking, harassment or other prohibited conduct within a family relationship or any past or current cohabiting relationship. It applies as well to people who are divorced or separated. Even violence against family pets may be prohibited under protective orders.
Credible threats, as well as actual violence, can also support a restraining order issued in family court, a protective order issued in a criminal proceeding, or a criminal prosecution for violating either a restraining order or a protective order. If a police officer responding to a domestic violence call has probable cause to believe that a crime occurred, an arrest is mandatory, despite the wishes of the alleged victim.
Some examples of crimes that you may be charged with following a domestic dispute are threatening, assault, coercion, strangulation, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment or harassment. Under Connecticut law, you must appear in court for an arraignment on the first court day following your arrest. Since you will be interviewed in court at that time by a family relations officer, it is very important that you speak to an attorney before your first court appearance. If you are concerned about a friend, spouse or another family member who is being held in police custody, after a domestic violence incident, awaiting his or her court appearance, you should talk to us concerning his or her bail bond and obtaining release from custody before their court arraignment. We are available at all hours of the day or night for these family or domestic violence emergencies.
The best time to contact a defense lawyer about a family violence problem is the moment you learn of an accusation or become aware that a restraining order has been issued against you. You’ll have the chance to get the restraining order thrown out, but the advice of an experienced attorney will be necessary to help you present your strongest case.
We can also help you avoid a criminal conviction by utilizing the Pretrial Family Violence Program. This can help you keep a clean criminal record while addressing the root causes of your domestic violence situation.
Our goal is to help you avoid any criminal consequences or punishment for family violence whenever possible. To learn more about our experience in this area of the law, contact a seasoned defense lawyer at Berman & Russo.
Connecticut Domestic Violence FAQs
Our defense attorneys hear many questions from people facing domestic violence allegations, some of which are below. If you have questions about your specific domestic violence charges, reach out to our office directly.
When can I face domestic violence charges?
Family violence or domestic violence are not single charges you might face under Connecticut law. Instead, they refer to a group of charges when the alleged victim is your family or household member. Crimes that can qualify as domestic violence include assault, disorderly conduct, breach of peace, kidnapping, sexual assault, harassment, reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, strangulation, and more.
Verbal abuse does not constitute domestic violence on its own unless there is a likelihood that physical violence would occur. Further, discipline of minor children is not domestic violence unless it constitutes child abuse under the law. Many false domestic violence allegations happen, so if you are arrested, you should have the strongest defense possible to prevent a wrongful conviction.
What are possible penalties for domestic violence in Connecticut?
Depending on the specific allegations against you, the prosecutor might issue misdemeanor or felony charges. In either case, you face possible probation, fines, or even jail time if you plead guilty or are convicted at trial. Even without a conviction or guilty plea, you might still face the conditions of a protective order for years after your case ends. To have the best chance of avoiding these penalties, you should seek trusted defense representation right away.
How can a domestic violence conviction impact my life?
The above criminal penalties can impact your finances and freedom, and a protective order can displace you from your home, separate you from your children, force you to give up possession of firearms, and more. The effects on your life can extend from there, and you might be disqualified from certain jobs or professions, lose custody of your children, and suffer damage to your reputation. To prevent such long-term effects, ensure you have an experienced attorney building your defense.
Can I fight a domestic violence conviction?
As with any type of criminal charge, you have the right to defend against your charges, and you have the right to have defense representation. Because Connecticut courts and law enforcement take domestic violence allegations so seriously, you can expect they will do anything possible to obtain a conviction, protective orders, and treatment orders in your case. However, there are often ways to challenge the prosecutor’s evidence against you. The right defense attorney can evaluate the allegations and evidence against you and determine the best defense strategy for your case.
Domestic violence is a serious matter, and you will face a court hearing very shortly after your arrest. The judge can put orders in place during this first hearing, so you need representation at this hearing.
For answers to additional questions and to learn how our legal team can assist you, please reach out to the team at Berman & Russo today.
We represent clients throughout Hartford County (east of the Connecticut River) and Tolland County, including the communities of South Windsor, Windsor, East Windsor, Hartford, Bloomfield, Enfield, Windsor Locks, East Hartford, Manchester, Glastonbury, Marlborough, Somers, Stafford, Stafford Springs, Union, Ellington, Tolland, Willington, Vernon, Bolton, Coventry, Mansfield, Storrs, Andover, Hebron, Columbia and Middletown.