In some domestic violence cases, there are alternatives to jail available to the defendant. One of these alternatives is the Pretrial Family Violence Education Program (FVEP). If you are a first time domestic violence offender, the FVEP might be available to you. You can learn more about it on this page.
What is FVEP?
Domestic violence, or family violence crimes, are incidents between intimates, family or household members, that result in physical harm, bodily injury, or threatened violence constituting fear of imminent harm.
Many clients may be able to resolve their court case through participation in the court’s Pretrial Family Violence Education Program (FVEP). This court program, available to eligible “first time” offenders, is aimed at reform of violent behavior through education. Upon successful completion, the court will dismiss the case against the client.
Individuals charged with domestic violence crimes are eligible to participate in FVEP so long as they have never used the program before, and they have no prior convictions for crimes of family violence. No one charged with the most serious felonies (Class A, B, or C) is eligible to participate. Clients charged with a Class D felony crime can apply for the FVEP, but they must demonstrate good cause to the judge to be admitted into the program. The program carries a $100 application fee and $300 participation fee, both of which are paid to the court clerk.
Once admitted into FVEP, court representatives will monitor the client’s progress. The client will be required to complete nine ninety-minute educational sessions focused on reducing future family violence. The client will be referred to a local community treatment provider, which will conduct the class sessions.
The topics covered by the FVEP course include:
(a) Understanding violence;
(b) Anger management techniques;
(c) Responsibility for thoughts, feelings & behaviors;
(d) Healthy communication and active listening;
(e) Effects of domestic violence on children; and
(f) Conflict resolution and negotiation.
Typical FVEP participants complete the program within six months to one year of active monitoring. Assuming the client successfully completes the classes and remains family violence arrest-free when monitored, the judge will find successful program completion and will dismiss the charges against the client. A dismissal does not result in a criminal record for the client.
If you would like to apply for the Family Violence Education Program, you can contact my office. I am happy to go over your options with you and help you determine the best course of action for your case. Contact the office at 203-925-9200 to speak with me or another attorney today.