Norwalk Domestic Violence Lawyer
Under Connecticut law, domestic violence is any criminal incident or any crime that has resulted physical harm, bodily harm, or assault or an act of threatened violence against a family or household member. A family or household member is a spouse or former spouse, parents or their children, people that are related by blood, people that currently reside together, people who in the past or recently had resided together, people who have a child in common, and people who have recently been in a dating relationship. It has to be criminal act and has to involve physical harm, bodily harm, assault, or an act of threatened violence and it has to be between a family or household member.
Consequences for these charges can be serious. If you are facing allegations or charges of domestic violence, it is essential you work with an experienced Norwalk domestic violence lawyer as soon as you can. A defense attorney can inform you of what to expect and how to help your case moving forward.
What to Expect
A person accused of domestic violence in Norwalk can expect to be arrested, almost invariably when there is a report of a domestic violence incident. There will be an arrest where the police officer has probable cause that a domestic violence incident has occurred. Probable cause does not mean that a person definitely did it, it does not even mean that they probably did it, it is a low threshold that there is some reason to believe that it did occur and the officer cannot discount or remove the possibility that the crime did occur. In other criminal circumstances and criminal investigations, police officers have some discretion in terms of charging for a crime, including by listening to the person who was hit by the crime or what the alleged victim of the crime would like.
But with the domestic violence allegations, the police officer does not have that discretion and in fact cannot consider a request by the victim—if one of the victims says that they do not want to press charges—the officer cannot use that as a reason to not make an arrest. The policy and law in Norwalk is that it requires the police officer to make an arrest any time that it has happened. They will be expecting to get arrested and then they will need to be prepared for the court proceedings that follow after that, thereby making it important that those accused consult with a Norwalk domestic violence lawyer immediately.
Role of an Officer
An officer investigating a domestic violence allegation will report to the scene, which will likely be in most instances in a domestic violence case the household where the people reside. The officer will separate the individuals involved and take statements from the individuals. They will also make observations of any kind of property damage, any kind of physical harm to either person, then potentially take any photographs and a recorded statement in writing, audio, or video and then they sum that information then if they reach probable cause that a domestic violence crime has occurred, they will make an arrest of one or both people.
Impact on Child Custody
When someone has been charged with domestic violence in Norwalk, as part of the protective order, the judge can make an order that extends to the children of the alleged victim. The children may also be the children of the defendant but in many instances, the judge will take a protective order for an adult victim and then extend the provisions of that protective order to also protect the minor children. That means that the defendant still has custody because the custody arrangements do not change because a criminal court is not a family or custody court, but it prohibits the contact with those children in some regards.
If the order were to be a full no contact, meaning that there is not going to be any contact whatsoever with the victim, that would mean that the defendant could also not have any contact with their children, whether in person or over the phone. That will remain that way unless and until the judge nullifies the order in any regard to create some exceptions to allow contact or visitation.
Working with an Attorney
It is important to have a domestic violence lawyer in Norwalk involved in any domestic violence case in Norwalk to be able to help the defendant go through the process that will take place in court. It is a multifaceted, multi-step process and a domestic violence case has additional requirements and things that need to happen that are different from any normal or non-domestic violence type case. There are other departments that will be involved, there are certain engagements with counseling that are going to be required likely, and there are the elements of the protective orders, and a Norwalk domestic violence attorney can work hard to help involve these various resources.