First-Time Greenwich Domestic Violence Offenses
Any domestic violence allegation made against you should be taken seriously as it could have substantial repercussions if not handled effectively. However, you may have a few options that could reduce the severity of your case’s long-term consequences if this is your first-time facing accusations of this nature. Guidance from a seasoned domestic violence attorney is vital to understanding these options and utilizing them to proactively resolve first-time Greenwich domestic violence offenses.
What to Expect During a First-Time Domestic Violence Arrest
Regardless of whether anyone involved has a criminal record, police officers responding to domestic violence calls are trained and required by law to assess who the primary instigator of the alleged violence is. They are then required to make an arrest at the scene. This is also the case for law enforcement officers who have been investigating reports of domestic violence over a longer period of time, and is a notable change from how these situations used to be handled. In the past, all involved parties were liable to be arrested at the scene, and law enforcement and court officials would sort out fault later.
Whether an arrest involves being handcuffed and booked at a police station or just receiving a written citation, the timetable for your ensuing legal proceedings will almost always be much shorter than it would be for other types of criminal acts. People arrested for offenses categorized as “family violence” are generally required to appear for arraignment on the next business day, often within 24 hours of being detained in the first place. They must also meet with a Family Relations Officer before the hearing begins.
It is also likely that during these opening proceedings, the court will impose a protective order against the arrested party. This document can sometimes simply forbid them from committing any further acts of domestic violence, while other times it can impose harsher prohibitions on having any contact at all with the protected party. Support from legal counsel is key to negotiating reasonable terms for such an order and handling other pre-trial steps effectively following a first-time domestic violence charge in Greenwich.
Are There Alternatives to Conviction for First-Time Offenders?
First-time offenders in Greenwich charged with forms of domestic violence not categorized as high-level felonies may be eligible to apply for the Family Violence Education Program (“FVEP”) as an alternative to going through criminal sentencing. No one with a prior domestic violence conviction is eligible for this program, nor is anyone who has previously made use of this or any other pretrial diversionary program overseen by the state.
If a judge accepts an application for the FVEP, the applicant must pay the required entry and application fees, comply with any additional restrictions imposed by the court, and complete nine consecutive domestic violence classes. Successful completion of the program will allow for a first-time offender’s domestic violence charge to be dismissed. However, failing to complete the FVEP or violating any conditions of participation may result in a decision to reopen and restart your criminal proceedings.
Discuss Your Legal Options for First-Time Domestic Violence Offenses in Greenwich with Our Attorneys
Handling an investigation, criminal case, and potential family court proceedings following a family violence allegation is never a simple task. However, help is available from knowledgeable legal professionals who know how to minimize the negative impact of first-time Greenwich domestic violence offenses. Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today for a consultation, and click here to read what past clients have said about working with us.