FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ?
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OF DOMESTIC VOILENCE
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OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
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A domestic violence incident in Connecticut can challenge a family on many levels—emotionally, financially and psychologically. Fortunately, Connecticut law enforcement—together with city and state government officials—have spent years, as well as millions of dollars, crafting resource platforms for both victims of domestic violence in Connecticut, as well as rehabilitation and education programs for those people arrested for domestic violence crimes. The results have been encouraging; however, a Connecticut domestic violence lawyer has nevertheless seen that some families are still very much in need of more information on how to most effectively fight their Connecticut domestic violence arrest, as well as how to most vocally advocate their position as a victim in a Connecticut domestic violence incident.
As a result of this need for more legal information for victims of a Connecticut domestic violence arrest, as well as the demand on the court system for more assistance for people who are arrested in Connecticut for a domestic violence crime such as disorderly conduct (CGS 53a-182), assault in the third degree (CGS 53a-61), or violation of a criminal protective order (CGS 53a-223), a team of Connecticut domestic violence lawyers began aggregating helpful information for families who have found themselves entrenched in the criminal court system, either as arrestees or victims.
Whether you have been arrested for a Connecticut domestic violence crime, or are a victim of a domestic violence incident, this website—along with the Connecticut domestic violence lawyers who created it—will try to get you better educated about the criminal court process, and hopefully point you to useful information, additional online and offline domestic violence resources, and other support services that can help you begin your family’s healing process.
If you have been arrested in Connecticut for domestic violence like disorderly conduct, strangulation or violation of a protective order, then you will be ordered to report to a Connecticut Superior Court on the next business morning for your arraignment and—most importantly—a restraining order hearing. The restraining order issued at this first court appearance could forbid you from returning to your home, having contact with your significant other, or speaking and playing with your children for a time period of weeks to even months, depending on the severity of the accusations made against you. Also, at this first court appearance you will be interviewed by a Superior Court Family Relations officer who will be questioning you about the details of your arrest and the events leading up to it. Everything you say in court that day and during this interview can and will be used against you.
Make no mistake here—there are a lot of moving parts in motion at your first court date, all of which can cause a snowball effect in your case if not handled properly. Being compelled to show up in criminal court for a restraining order hearing on the next business morning after your arrest for a domestic violence crime gives you very little time to hire or consult with a Connecticut domestic violence lawyer. It is critical for you to quickly figure out the Connecticut domestic violence criminal court process, understand your rights, and start fighting your arrest right away. To begin getting ahead of the court process learning curve, look to the left side of this website where we have listed a number of links and information pages to help you get started and get informed.
We also understand that a domestic violence incident can often trigger emotions that range from anger, fear, and anxiety to sympathy, regret, and hesitation. Victims can often feel conflicted between wanting justice, jail, and punishment as well as counseling, rehabilitation and leniency. In addition to other urgent intervention such as crisis counseling, victims of domestic violence need assistance during the criminal court process. Each Connecticut courthouse provides domestic violence crime victims with a victim advocate, free of charge. They act as a point person exclusively for victims to not only facilitate crisis counseling, safety plans, and emotional support, but also to guide them through the sometimes complicated inner workings of the criminal court process.
Under Connecticut statutory law, domestic violence crime victims have a number of rights, including the right to be heard by the judge and the right to be treated with respect and fairness during the criminal court process. These victim advocates provide an effective voice for victims during the case and will often speak up during court and advocate for stricter or more lenient penalties for the accused, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Victims are also entitled to hire a Connecticut domestic violence lawyer who can help victims argue for stiffer penalties for an accused, or for more leniency if the victim wants the family member to return home more quickly to begin the family healing process. A lawyer is permitted to participate in all stages of a criminal or civil domestic violence case, including seeking restraining orders, presenting victim positions in plea bargain discussions, and being heard at sentencing to either argue for or against a jail sentence.
One critical component of any Connecticut domestic violence arrest case is the immediate issuance of a restraining order. In criminal court, these restraining orders are technically called “Criminal Protective Orders.” Violating the conditions of a Connecticut Criminal Protective Order can get you arrested in Connecticut under CGS 53a-223, a felony charge in Connecticut, carrying a maximum jail sentence of 5 years. In addition to the protections of a Criminal Protective Order, there is relief sometimes sought in the civil courts in Connecticut called a “Civil Restraining Order.” With a Civil Restraining Order, victims of Connecticut domestic violence, stalking, and sexual abuse can apply for a Civil Restraining Order even if there has been no arrest for a domestic violence crime. Violating a Civil Restraining Order is also a felony charge under CGS 53a-223b, and likewise carries a 5 year jail sentence.
Before a Civil Restraining Order or Criminal Protective Order can be permanently ordered upon you, the court must conduct a restraining / protective order hearing. A domestic violence lawyer can fight for or against the imposition of a civil or criminal restraining order.
These criminal and civil restraining orders usually come in 3 different forms in Connecticut:
(1) a “Full No Contact” restraining order, prohibiting any kind of contact whatsoever with the protected person
(2) a “Full Residential Stay-Away” order, allowing contact but criminalizing any entry into the protected person’s home (even if it is your home)
(3) the least restrictive “Partial” or “Limited” restraining order, allowing contact but prohibiting you from assaulting, harassing, stalking or following the protected person
These orders range from restrictive to relaxed, making it all the more important to be represented by a Connecticut domestic violence attorney at the hearing, whether you are the person seeking the restraining order, or fighting against an application for a Connecticut restraining order.
Unlike any other criminal law firm in the State, we are proud to offer the services of an in-house domestic violence victim advocate Christine Gertsch, who throughout her career working in the Connecticut Superior Courts, has helped thousands of domestic violence victims through the criminal court process.
If you are arrested for a domestic violence crime in Connecticut, or are a victim of such a crime, we hope you will use this website and find its information helpful. Do not hesitate to contact one of our Connecticut domestic violence lawyers for more information on how to most cost-effectively fight your Connecticut domestic violence arrest. Likewise, if you are a victim of a domestic violence arrest in Connecticut, reach out to one of our Connecticut domestic violence victim representation lawyers, or our firm’s in-house domestic violence victim advocate. We look forward to hearing from you.