Ridgefield Spousal Abuse Lawyer
Being accused of abusing or acting violently towards your spouse can have resounding consequences in your personal and professional life, even if no criminal charges come of it. Support from a Ridgefield spousal abuse lawyer could be vital to handling uniquely sensitive situations like yours as effectively and efficiently as possible. Call our firm today to speak with a seasoned domestic violence attorney to begin crafting a solid defense.
What Qualifies as Spousal Abuse?
Rather than being defined as a distinct criminal offense, “family violence” is defined in Connecticut as any threatened or actual physical violence against a family or household member. This category includes current and former spouses. Sexual assault of a spouse or partner in a cohabitating relationship was once treated as a unique variant of sexual assault, but the relevant statute was repealed by the Connecticut legislature as of October 1, 2019.
Various offenses may be categorized as spousal abuse by state authorities, not all of which necessarily involve aggressive or violent conduct. Someone accused of stalking, threatening, or engaging in disorderly behavior with a past or current spouse may have their ensuing criminal charge designated as family violence, regardless of whether the targeted individual sustained physical harm. A Ridgefield spousal abuse attorney can go into more specific detail about how these cases work during a confidential consultation.
What are the Potential Consequences of a Spousal Abuse Charge?
The criminal sanctions someone accused of spousal abuse could face will vary based on their underlying charge. On the lower end of the spectrum, offenses like Disorderly Conduct may be prosecuted as Class C misdemeanors. This means a conviction would result in a maximum of $500 in fines and/or a three-month jail term. Conversely, Assault in the First Degree and Sexual Assault in the First Degree of a spouse are generally considered Class B felonies. Certain aggravating factors—for example, assault of a pregnant woman directly leading to the loss of the fetus—may be prosecuted as Class A felonies.
Additionally, an offense being designated as family violence in Connecticut will almost always compel the court to dramatically expedite pre-trial proceedings. Arraignment will generally occur on the next business day after the defendant’s arrest and sometimes within 12 hours of the event. The judge is also likely to impose some kind of protective order, the terms of which may vary based on how severe the underlying offense allegedly is.
For first-time offenders or people charged with misdemeanors, the court may simply forbid them from engaging in further harassment or violence until their trial concludes. In more severe situations, this kind of order may prohibit the defendant from cohabitating with their spouse or even having any contact for the duration of their case. A spousal abuse attorney in Ridgefield can help negotiate for more favorable terms to such an order if retained quickly enough after an arrest.
Seek Assistance from a Ridgefield Spousal Abuse Attorney
If you believe you may soon face or are already facing criminal prosecution or family court action over a spousal abuse allegation, you have little time to get the legal help you need to protect your rights and interests proactively.
Once retained, your Ridgefield spousal abuse lawyer can help construct the strongest possible defense strategy and work diligently to minimize your case’s long-term impact on your—and your family’s—life. Call the Law Office of Mark Sherman today for a consultation, and click here to view our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.