Going through the court process can be overwhelming, whether it’s your first time or your third. For a few different types of cases, the judge may order that you attend alternative incarceration centers (AIC). This is especially common in domestic violence cases, so if you face this charge, you should familiarize yourself with the AIC system in Connecticut.
Domestic Violence Court Process
If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, you will first be interrogated by a family relations officer. You will have to appear at the Office of Family Relations. Your first court appearance will take place the first business day after your arrest.
You will then go to a domestic violence restraining and protective order hearing. At this hearing, a judge will generally issue some kind of restraining order on you.
After this hearing, a judge will also likely order that you participate in AIC services. If you do not comply with AIC, a common consequence is having to go to jail. Because the consequences for not fulfilling AIC requirements is so severe, it is important that you comply with any AIC orders.
But what exactly is AIC, and what will be required of you if you receive an AIC order from a judge?
AIC is a not-for-profit service that works with the Connecticut Superior Court. These services are offered to the court at no cost. If you have a case pending in a Connecticut courthouse – especially a domestic violence case – you will likely become a “client” of one of these centers.
AIC offers many different types of resources and services, including:
- Drug and alcohol counseling.
- Anger management counseling.
- Mental health counseling.
- Drug and alcohol urine testing.
- Drug and alcohol hair follicle testing.
- Job retraining programs.
As a condition for your release, the court can order that you participate in one of these programs. Alternatively, the court can order that you report to a center for random drug testing.
If you don’t comply with the court order, you will be in violation of your release from court. This could result in additional penalties. For example, the court might increase your bond or your AIC conditions. In severe cases, you could be sent to jail. So, make sure that you do what the court asks when it comes to AIC services.
Pros and Cons of AIC
For some people, AIC can be a useful tool. For others, it can be a hassle.
If you have a serious domestic abuse or drug abuse case pending against you, AIC can work to your advantage. This is because you can use their services to prove to the prosecutor and the judge that you have any issues under control. Showing that you are responsible enough to comply with the oftentimes rigid services provided by AIC will help to prove your character and help with the rest of your case.
But in other cases, AIC can end up hurting you. This is the case if you are going through a divorce or if you have a difficult schedule. Your spouse can use AIC classes against you in divorce and try to prove that you are not fit to take care of your children. They can also use this to prove that you need to pay spousal support after the divorce is finalized.
AIC also tends to have very strict and rigorous classes. They won’t work around your schedule, so if you work odd hours or have other plans, AIC could cause a conflict. And of course, you can’t skip the AIC classes or tests, or you will fail them.
For these reasons, attorneys will sometimes try to get their clients out of AIC services. If you can afford to pay for similar services in a private setting, this might be the better option for your situation. But of course, a lawyer will review all of the factors with you so that you can make the most informed decision going forward.
There are six AIC locations in Connecticut. They are:
145 Main St, Danbury, CT 06810
555 Bank St, New London, CT 06320
41 E Main St, Torrington, CT 06790
765 N Main St, Danielson, CT 06239
31 Bent St, Manchester, CT 06042
9 Moody Rd #3, Enfield, CT 06082