Greenwich Assault Lawyer

A domestic violence arrest in Connecticut for assault in the third degree under CGS § 53a-61 can quickly go from bad to worse.

What the arresting police officers will not tell you is that at your first court date (which is usually the very next business morning), you will be forced to stand before a Stamford Superior Court judge for a protective restraining order hearing which, if not handled properly, could end up having you ordered out of your home or ordered not to contact your spouse and children for months. You could also be ordered to put a GPS ankle bracelet device around your ankle, which can cause you embarrassment and shame at your job.

Finally, and in a further effort to make an example out of you and deter domestic violence, the Greenwich Police Department will release your name, address, mug shot, and a lopsided version of your arrest report to The Greenwich Time, Greenwich Patch, and Greenwich Citizen online news websites, which can cause you additional humiliation and irreparable damage to your personal and profession reputations.

So if you have been arrested for Assault, you should contact a domestic violence attorney to assist you at the very critical first court date. Getting prepared for this court date—and getting as much information before setting foot in court—will almost certainly help you position your case for a quicker resolution. To learn more or get started on building a defense for your case, consult with a Greenwich assault lawyer today.

Third Degree Assault

The reason why Third Degree Assault under C.G.S. § 53a-61 is so frequently charged in domestic violence arrests is because the language of the criminal statute is overly broad, making it easy for police to find probable cause to make these arrests.

The law only requires that you intentionally, recklessly, or negligently caused physical injury to another person to justify an arrest for Assault in the Third Degree. And even more frustrating is that the standard for “physical injury” only requires someone to experience pain (in the form of a push, scratch, bruise, or any subjective experience of pain or suffering).

What are the Penalties for Assault in the Third Degree?

On top of all this, an arrest for Third Degree Assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a maximum jail sentence of one year, probation, and fines. So if you were arrested for Assault Third Degree under CGS 53a-61, then learn more about how to fight these charges by contacting our top Greenwich attorneys immediately.

Preparing for a Family Relations Interview

Your first stop in court following an arrest is an interview with a Family Relations Officer. Make no mistake—as friendly and comforting as these court officers are, they are not on your side, nor are they your advocate.

They are tasked with the difficult job of vetting your case for safety and risk concerns in a very short period of time, and they usually err on the side of caution by recommending overly restrictive protective orders based on your charges, your arrest history, victim input, and disclosures you make during the interview.

Do I Have to Answer Questions During a Family Relations Interview?

While you should never lie to a Family Relations Officer, you are under no obligation to answer any of their questions, which typically cover very personal issues such as prior arrest history, prior domestic violence in your home, drug and alcohol addiction history, mental health issues and other sensitive family and medical information. You should defer to your top domestic violence assault lawyer in Greenwich to figure out what’s appropriate to disclose to Family Relations and what should be kept private.

Remember, Family Relations will share all of your disclosures with the prosecutor and judge, and will help shape the parameters of the restraining order which will be issued against you later in the morning of your first court date.

Protective Orders

Once you’ve met with a Family Relations Officer on your first day of court for your Assault arrest, you will then be ordered to appear in the arraignment courtroom for your arraignment and protective order hearing around noontime. The court will hear oral and legal arguments on what kind of restraining / protective order should be issued against you. That’s when it may feel like it’s 5-on-1 against you.

The judge will hear from the prosecutor, family relations officer, domestic violence victim advocate, bail commissioner, and possibly the victim or victim’s lawyer. Then the judge will hear from either you or your top Greenwich assault attorney who will aggressively argue against an overly restrictive protective order and against any unnecessary conditions of release such as anger management or GPS ankle bracelet monitoring devices.

The protective/restraining order usually comes in 3 categories: a full no contact, a full/residential stay-away, or a partial protective order, the latter of which is the most desirable for people arrested in Greenwich Connecticut for Assault. It’s an intense and quick restraining order hearing that has long-term consequences during your case, so take it seriously.

Discuss Your Options With a Greenwich Assault Attorney Today

You do not need to handle your assault case alone. Our legal team can help. Schedule a consultation with an experienced Greenwich assault lawyer today.

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