Ridgefield Domestic Violence Arrests
An arrest for domestic violence allegations in Ridgefield, Connecticut could be confusing, intimidating, and stress-provoking, especially if you’ve never been in trouble with the law before. A skilled domestic violence defense attorney could provide the custom legal guidance you might need to understand your rights, approach your case proactively, and pursue the best possible outcome.
How Are Domestic Violence Arrests Unique?
One important thing to understand about domestic violence arrests in Ridgefield is that you don’t need to be put in handcuffs and brought to the police department to have been arrested. Often, in low-level domestic violence situations, police issue a citation known as a “misdemeanor summons” which is the functional equivalent of an arrest and should be taken very seriously.
Failing to comply with ensuing criminal proceedings could start a snowball effect of criminal charges and penalties that can cause disruption in your life for years to come. Perhaps even more important is how fast domestic violence cases move compared to virtually every other type of criminal prosecution.
Rather than having a few days or weeks to prepare for arraignment, people arrested on suspicion of domestic violence in Ridgefield must appear in court the very next business morning after their arrest, which could be less than 24 hours away.
What Happens at a Domestic Violence Arraignment?
Prior to going before a judge, the arrested party must meet with a Family Relations Officer (FRO) for questioning in the courthouse.
Any information that a defendant provides during this interview may be used against them in the court proceeding, and courts tend to take the testimony of FROs seriously. Failing to prepare effectively for these procedures—ideally with support from a Ridgefield attorney familiar with the demands of domestic violence arrests—could have consequences that dramatically alter your personal and professional life.
After this meeting, you will go before a judge and a protective order will be put in place on the court record.
How Are Protective Orders Used After Domestic Violence Arrests?
The protective order issued at the arraignment typically lasts until the conclusion of the defendant’s criminal case. Depending on why the defendant was originally arrested and their meeting with the FRO, the court may only prohibit any further harassment of the protected party or, in more severe situations, prohibit the defendant from cohabitating with the protected party, or from having any contact whatsoever with them.
It is worth reiterating that these orders are generally put in place long before the defendant has a chance to defend themselves in court. Any inadvertent or intentional violation of an order may result in felony-level criminal charges. Once again, the support of a qualified legal professional is vital to ensuring that no order that has been put in place is unduly restrictive, and that a you can effectively protect your rights in the hours and days following an arrest.
Talk to a Ridgefield Attorney About Contesting a Domestic Violence Arrest
Having an alleged criminal offense classified as domestic violence in Connecticut does not allow a court to impose harsher criminal sanctions upon conviction. However, it could open you up to a variety of other consequences outside of criminal court, as well as substantially alter how your case will proceed in practical terms.
After a Ridgefield domestic violence arrest, seeking counsel from a dedicated defense lawyer could make a world of difference. Learn more by calling Mark Sherman Law today and discovering for yourself why most of his clients give him five stars.