Getting charged with a domestic violence crime in Fairfield or New Haven, Connecticut, is no minor matter. You may be removed from your home and ordered to stay away from your children, even before a conviction is entered. If you are facing family violence charges, you need the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away to protect your rights and present your strongest defense. The Lebedevitch Law Firm has the experience you need on your side to defend against these allegations.
In Connecticut, there is no one crime called “domestic violence.” Instead, if the police and prosecutors have reason to believe you have threatened or taken physical aggression against a loved one or member of your household, the criminal charges against you may be labelled as family violence charges. This label can apply to any crime against your:
The label on a family violence charge triggers a pretrial process designed to protect domestic violence victims from repeat offenses. As the person charged with domestic violence, you must take action right away to protect your rights and start preparing your legal defense.
In Connecticut, if you are charged with a domestic violence crime, you must appear in court the very next business day for an arraignment and protective order hearing. At this initial court appearance, you will be required to meet with a family services officer and asked to make statements about what happened. Anything that you say during this interview can be used against you at trial, which is why having an experienced domestic violence attorney by your side is important.
After you are interviewed by a family services officer, the criminal court judge assigned to your case will enter a protective order that could prevent you from:
The terms of these orders can make life difficult for you even before you have been convicted of any crime. Still, it is imperative that you follow the orders set by the court, as it is a separate serious offense if you violate the protective order.
If a protective order was entered before you had a chance to hire an experienced domestic violence lawyer, you may still be able to file a motion to ask the court to amend these orders. At The Lebedevitch Law Firm, we know the laws, and what the court and the State’s Attorney is looking for to potentially amend the protective order so you can live your life while your criminal case is pending.
Being charged with a family violence crime doesn’t automatically mean you will have a conviction on your public criminal record. Connecticut offers some first-time domestic violence offenders the opportunity to participate in the Family Violence Education Program (FVEP). Successfully completing the FVEP will mean the charges against you will be dismissed.
In addition to diversion options, there are also several common defenses to domestic violence charges, including:
Developing a legal defense to criminal charges takes time, and the skill of a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer. If you think you could be facing family violence charges, it is important that you discuss all your options with a criminal defense lawyer before taking any plea deal offered by the prosecutor. If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime in Fairfield or New Haven County, contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm for your free consultation.