Darien Domestic Violence Arrests

Being arrested during or after a household dispute can be a jarring experience with immensely serious consequences, even if you have no prior record of criminal charges. When it comes to proactively handling Darien domestic violence arrests, there is help available from a dedicated domestic violence attorney with the expertise and experience necessary to effectively protect your rights.

What is the “Dominant Aggressor” Rule?

The vast majority of domestic violence arrests in Darien and throughout Connecticut happen when a police officer responds to a report of aggressive or violent conduct between family members. Based on their interpretation of events, officers may arrest someone at the scene for a suspected domestic violence crime.

Until 2019, law enforcement policy was to arrest anyone who acted violently towards anyone else involved in a domestic dispute, regardless of whether they were acting in self-defense, which made it risky for the person targeted by said violence to contact the police. Currently, however, police officers follow a “dominant aggressor” rule that requires them to arrest the person they believe initiated the conflict upon determining that a family violence crime has likely occurred. They can consider various factors when deciding who the dominant aggressor is, including:

  • Whether someone was likely acting to protect themselves or another family member;
  • The relative severity of injuries sustained by all involved parties; and
  • Any history of domestic violence between the individuals involved.

Officers are not legally required to make an arrest if they believe there was no actual or threatened violence between the involved parties or if the dispute is between roommates with no romantic or familial connection. Additionally, someone being deemed the dominant aggressor at the scene of an alleged offense is a rebuttable presumption, meaning they can contest it in court and, if necessary, correct an erroneous assumption by the responding officer.

What Can I Expect After Being Arrested?

Another critical thing to understand about Darien domestic violence arrests is that police officers do not have to take someone into custody to arrest them. If all the officer does at the scene of an alleged incident is hand someone a citation for disorderly conduct or some other offense, that counts as an arrest, and failing to appear in court when instructed could have severe legal repercussions.

Court proceedings often move much more quickly after a domestic violence arrest than arrests for other types of offenses, presumably to prevent further harm from coming to whoever the defendant targeted with their actions. People arrested for this kind of offense generally must appear in court on the next business morning for arraignment. At this initial hearing, the judge may issue a temporary protective order placing further restrictions on the defendant that will last until their criminal case concludes.

Contact a Darien Attorney as Soon as Possible After a Domestic Violence Arrest

What you do and say in the immediate aftermath of a Darien domestic violence arrest can greatly impact how your case proceeds and ultimately concludes for you. If you want the best shot of securing the best legal result for your situation, speaking with a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible should be your top priority. Call The Law Offices of Mark Sherman today for an initial consultation, and click here to check out our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.

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