A domestic violence arrest can severely disrupt your professional and personal life. Upon conviction, you face fines, jail time, and probation. A conviction could also impact immigration status, professional licenses, and child custody decisions. You need a strong defense to protect your best interests.
Contact a defense lawyer at Ruane Attorneys to discuss your case. Our legal team has helped many people in your situation with building a defense for Bridgeport domestic violence charges.
Limiting Restrictions at Arraignment
Sometimes, the police physically detain someone and bring them to jail after an alleged domestic violence incident. In other cases, the officers direct the accused to leave the site and give them an appearance ticket. In either case, the accused must come to court for an arraignment on the next business day.
At the arraignment, the accused will have an interview with a Family Services Officer, who reports to the judge. Advice from a Bridgeport attorney about the domestic violence interview could be critical to building a defense. The judge has access to everything the defendant says at the interview, so legal counsel about what questions to answer and when to refuse to answer can make a huge difference in a case’s outcome.
The judge usually issues a protective order at the arraignment. The order could direct the defendant not to harass or threaten the alleged victim or force them to have no contact with the alleged victim. This could even require the defendant to move out of their home. Our Bridgeport lawyers could defend against overly harsh protective orders in a domestic violence case.
The interview with the Family Services Officer might spur them to recommend services such as an alcohol dependency evaluation or anger management training. The accused must comply if the judge issues an order to participate in services. Depending on the circumstances, our local attorneys could argue for postponing any order for services until the next hearing when more information is available.
Assessing Motivations in a Domestic Violence Case
An alleged domestic violence victim has no say over whether someone gets arrested if there is evidence of a physical confrontation. Connecticut General Statute §46b-38b requires the police to arrest the person they believe poses the greatest threat. However, the alleged victim can significantly impact how the rest of the case proceeds. Understanding the alleged victim’s position regarding the domestic violence charges is essential to building a defense.
If the parties agree that the incident was an isolated event that got out of hand, the alleged victim could appear in court to support the accused. The judge might vacate the protective order after a short period, allowing the accused to resume normal life. Courts sometimes drop domestic violence charges if the parties agree to counseling.
When an alleged victim aggressively advocates for punitive measures against an accused, building the defense is more challenging. A Bridgeport defense attorney could investigate the alleged victim’s motives and present a balanced account of the domestic violence charges for the judge’s consideration.
Resolving Domestic Abuse Charges
When a family violence charge is a first offense, resolving the matter without taking it to a trial is often the best strategy. Prosecutors sometimes agree to dismiss a case if an accused participates in court-ordered services, engages in private counseling, performs community service, or completes some combination of alternatives to criminal punishment.
The Family Violence Education Program could be a beneficial alternative for some people. The program offers nine weeks of classes plus up to two years of supervision by Family Services, and the case remains open while supervision is ongoing. The judge dismisses the charge when the defendant completes the program and required supervision.
The defendant has fewer options if they have a criminal history or the incident allegedly causes significant injuries. In such cases, our Bridgeport attorneys could review the prosecutor’s evidence and determine a strategy for negotiating a deal or defending against the domestic violence charges.
Contact a Bridgeport Attorney to Defend Against Domestic Violence Charges
A conviction on a family violence charge could impact your life in numerous ways. Even if you never plead guilty or go to trial, the courts expect you to invest time and effort in preventing the situation from recurring.
Consult a local attorney on building a defense for Bridgeport domestic violence charges. The sooner you seek legal counsel, the sooner you can begin protecting your rights and working toward a positive resolution. Call Ruane Attorneys today.