Stamford Domestic Violence Lawyer

Family disputes can sometimes quickly get out of control. Perhaps past problems become an issue, one thing may lead to another, and the emotionally-charged atmosphere can lead to violence or the threat of violence. When the police get involved, an episode that started as a minor argument can have very serious consequences.  Family violence law in Connecticut can be complicated and is unlike other types of law in many respects.

Anyone charged with a crime in connection with a current or former household member who could be considered family should consult with a Stamford domestic violence lawyer who understands the laws and how they apply to particular circumstances of a case. An experienced domestic violence attorney can assist in preparing their clients for what to expect and ensure the consequences they face are mitigated as much as possible.

Domestic Violence Laws in Connecticut

The state of Connecticut uses the phrase “family violence” in its statutes rather than the more traditional term, “domestic violence.”

Statutes define family violence as an episode between family or household members that result in physical harm, bodily injury or assault. This may also lead to a violent threat that causes the alleged victim to fear they are in danger of such harm, injury or assault. This behavior includes stalking or a pattern of threatening behavior. The law specifically states that purely verbal arguments or taunts should not be treated as family violence unless there is present danger and the likelihood that physical violence will occur.

The family violence laws apply to particular relationships, which a domestic violence attorney in Stamford can help an individual better understand. These particular relationships include:

  • Husbands and wives
  • Ex-husbands and ex-wives
  • Parents
  • Children
  • People related by blood or marriage
  • Unrelated people who have lived together in the past or live together at present
  • Two people who have had a child together, even if they have never been married or lived together
  • Two people who are currently dating or have dated in the past

Treatment of Family Violence

Connecticut law does not consider family violence as a separate crime. Instead, family violence is a crime such as assault that occurs between family or household members as defined above. Many different crimes can be considered family violence when they occur between family or household members, and each crime often has different degrees of severity. Some examples are:

  • Threatening (may or may not include a firearm)
  • Assault (with or without a weapon)
  • Stalking
  • Violating a restraining or protective order
  • Sexual assault
  • Strangulation

One unique aspect of family violence law is that an individual who fears violence from another may ask the court for a civil restraining order. Such an order might prevent one party from contacting the other, or from occupying the same premises. If an arrest has been made in a family violence case, the state’s attorney might request a protective order having a similar effect. In either case, whether requested by an accuser or initiated by the prosecution, violating the court order becomes an additional violation on its own. An experienced Stamford domestic violence lawyer can assist an individual in defending their case effectively in court.

Benefits of an Attorney

A crime that falls under the family violence category is complicated by many additional factors, and should only be challenged by a Stamford domestic violence attorney. Besides the court orders mentioned above, Connecticut law provides for family violence response and intervention units who prepare information that will be viewed by the court.

Their findings can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of a case. Because of the complicated nature of offenses in this category, it is vital for anyone charged with a crime involving family violence to consult a lawyer as soon as possible. It is crucial to enlist a lawyer who has experience with all the different elements involved to provide guidance through the process, and work toward the best possible outcome.

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