Elements of a Darien Domestic Violence Charge
Domestic violence may seem like a very simple charge on the surface but is more complicated than it seems. The law in Darien defines domestic violence as any type of event between a family or a household member that causes physical injury or creates a fear that physical injury is about to occur. The violence must be between family or household members and it can be between people that used to (but no longer) have a romantic relationship. It can be between parents or between a parent and a child if they live together. The elements of a Darien domestic violence charge are nuanced but a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney understands these elements and can use this understanding to build your case.
Expectations of Domestic Violence Charges
One of the elements of a Darien domestic violence charge is an investigation. When a person has been charged with domestic violence, they can expect the police to come to their home and conduct an investigation. During the course of the investigation, if the police believe there is the possibility of physical injury in the future, they will place the aggressor under arrest and issue a protective order against them.
A person who is arrested and has a protective order issued against them is arraigned the next day in Stamford Superior Court. At the arraignment, the judge decides whether the protective order should be kept in place or vacated.
Law enforcement officers have a duty to thoroughly examine the situation to make sure that no one is in imminent physical danger. When law enforcement officers believe that someone is a danger to another person, they must make an arrest to protect the person in danger.
Protective Orders in Darien
One of the other elements of a Darien domestic violence charge is the protective order. Protective orders are put in place to put distance between the accuser and the accused and ensure that the accused is safe. There are three types of protective orders in Darien. The most restrictive protective order is a full no contact that prohibits the respondent from having any contact with the alleged victim. The protective order forbids the respondent from entering the victim’s workplace or home even if they live together.
The middle protective order is a full or residential stay away that prohibits the respondent from entering the victim’s home, but still, allows communication between the parties. The difference with this protective order is that the parties can still communicate with each other.
The least restrictive protective order is a partial protective order that prohibits the respondent from threatening, intimidating, or harassing the alleged victim. They can still speak to each other, go to each other’s homes, or have a date together.
Violation of a protective order in Connecticut is either a Class C or Class D felony, depending on the violation. The person who violates a protective order is arrested and charged with the felony violation of the protective order. The penalties for that can be up to five years in jail and a permanent criminal record.
Laws Regarding Child Custody and Visitation
In terms of child custody, visitation, or parenting, when a protective order is put in place to protect the child, the parent loses their right to custody and visitation for the duration of the order depending on the level of the protective order, which is one of the more difficult elements of a Darien domestic violence charge for parents .
If the police come and a parent is charged with putting a child in danger or there is some type of domestic dispute between a parent and a child, a protective order can be issued to protect that child. If the protective order is a full residential stay away, the parent cannot go home. The parent also loses their right to visit or speak to the child until the matter is resolved.
When a protective order is put in place to protect a co-parent, the other parent still has custody and visitation rights for the child. However, they cannot go home to pick the child up, they cannot speak to the other parent in terms of parenting, but they still have rights and visitation to the child.
Benefits of a Darien Domestic Violence Lawyer
There are many benefits to having a Darien domestic violence lawyer. The first benefit is when a protective order is put in place, an attorney can try to argue against the protective order as much as possible. Sometimes this means that the protective order will be lowered.
If a person is arrested and a full no contact protective order is put in place, the person’s attorney can go to court the next day and argue that the protective order should be lowered to allow the defendant to go home. If the judge is not willing to modify the protective order at the time of arraignment, an attorney can file a motion to modify the protective order at any time during the criminal case.
The other benefit of having an attorney represent a defendant in a Darien domestic violence case is that a defendant might be eligible for a court diversionary program if their attorney makes a compelling argument to the judge about why the defendant should be granted the program. When someone is allowed to get into a diversionary program, they have the opportunity to complete classes and have their case dismissed once the classes are finished. If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact a Darien domestic violence lawyer who can defend you.