Domestic Violence Charges in Westport
Domestic violence encompasses many crimes, and the legal defense strategy to each is unique. Depending on whether you stand accused of a misdemeanor or felony, as well as on your history of convictions for domestic violence and other offenses, your case may look very differently from that of another person accused of this crime.
No matter what domestic violence charges in Westport you face, guidance from experienced legal counsel will almost certainly be vital to effectively protecting your best interests. Once retained, a knowledgeable domestic violence defense attorney could examine your unique situation and work diligently to pursue the most favorable case resolution possible on your behalf.
What Are the Penalties for Assault and Strangulation?
Two of the most common domestic violence crimes are assault and strangulation. There are three degrees of assault defined in the Connecticut Penal Code that may be involved in a domestic violence case in Westport, as well as several variants of the offense tailored to unique circumstances. For example, Connecticut General Statutes §53a-59c specifically addresses the first-degree assault of a pregnant woman which results directly in the termination of her pregnancy without a live birth as a class A felony with harsh penalties upon conviction.
Likewise, any assault or physical altercation that involves the targeted person being restrained by the throat or neck and/or having their breathing or blood circulation impeded may result in charges for strangulation or suffocation. There are three degrees to this offense as well that all cover slightly different situations, all codified in C.G.S. §§53a-64aa through 53a-64cc.
How Are Harassment and Stalking Defined in Westport?
Two other common domestic violence arrests are for harassment and stalking. A person who contacts a current or former intimate partner, family or household member through any call, text, or means of non-verbal communication with the intent to annoy or alarm them may be charged with domestic violence second-degree harassment under C.G.S. §53a-183, a class C misdemeanor in Westport. However, if such harassment involves an explicit threat to physically injure or kill and the defendant has previously been convicted of a felony, their offense may become class D felony first-degree harassment under C.G.S. §53a-182b.
A similar dynamic applies to stalking charges under C.G.S. §§53a-181c through 53a-181f. The more threatening a defendant’s behavior was and/or the more consistent of a pattern of behavior they established, the more likely they are to be prosecuted for a felony offense rather than a misdemeanor.
What Are Other Common Westport Domestic Violence Charges?
Instances of domestic violence that do not fit neatly into the aforementioned statutes are often pursued under C.G.S. §53a-182, which criminalizes various forms of “disorderly conduct” that might occur during a domestic dispute. More serious disputes and/or those that more severely disturb the general public may result in charges under C.G.S. §53a-181 for breach of the peace.
Finally, certain behaviors that primarily impact children within a household may result in domestic violence penalties classified informally as “child endangerment.” Offenses of this nature are most commonly—but not exclusively—prosecuted under C.G.S. §53-21 as “risk of injury” of a child. Note that any of these domestic violence charges in Westport could trigger a Department of Children and Families investigation if children were around. To learn more about that, click here.
Let A Westport Attorney Help Fight Domestic Violence Charges
The above list is not exhaustive. In many situations, the quality of legal counsel you retain is more important than the specific crime you are accused of when it comes to determining the likely outcome of your case.
A seasoned attorney could work tirelessly on your behalf to resolve any kind of domestic violence charge in Westport. Click here to read our certified client reviews, and call today for more information on starting your defense.