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.