Legal issues involving family or household members are complex, and criminal cases involving domestic violence allegations are no exception. Even if you have no prior criminal record, a single conviction for this type of offense could significantly impact your personal and professional life. You also face potential fines, jail or prison time, and investigations by state authorities, which could end with you losing custody or visitation rights with your children.
Proactively contesting accusations of this nature is crucial, as is representation from a Danbury domestic violence lawyer. By working with the legal team at Ruane Attorneys, you could advocate for your rights and best interests while protecting your relationships with your loved ones.
Offenses Commonly Classified as “Family Violence” in Danbury
According to Connecticut General Statute §46a-38a, “family violence” is any incident involving actual physical harm, assault, or bodily injury—or a threat of such violence which creates a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm—to a “family or household member.” This statute defines “family or household member” as:
- Immediate relatives by marriage, blood, or adoption
- Current and former intimate partners
- Co-parents of the same child
- Anyone who currently shares or previously shared a residence
Various criminal offenses may be designated as “family violence” if they allegedly involve family or household members. Common domestic violence offenses range from minor misdemeanors to high-level felonies, including:
- Physical assault or strangulation
- Reckless endangerment
- Sexual assault
- Unlawful restraint or kidnapping
- Disorderly conduct or breach of the peace
- Violation of a protective or restraining order
Our local attorneys could help address these or other offenses charged as “family violence” by state authorities.
The Impact of a Domestic Violence Designation on Criminal Proceedings
Notably, being charged with a criminal offense labeled as “family violence” by state authorities does not allow a criminal court to impose harsher sanctions upon conviction for the underlying offense. However, as our domestic violence lawyers in Danbury could explain, this designation does tend to expedite the early stages of the prosecutorial process. For example, people accused of domestic violence are generally arraigned on the next business day rather than having several days or weeks to prepare a defense.
Additionally, courts often impose temporary protective orders against people accused of domestic violence, which can significantly restrict their rights and freedoms even before they are convicted of any criminal wrongdoing. The State Department of Children & Families can also open an investigation based on a domestic violence allegation without waiting for a conviction; if they find evidence indicating that children in the defendant’s home are at risk of future harm, they may take corrective action. This could involve removing children from the defendant’s home or even losing custodial rights, even without the defendant being convicted of any criminal wrongdoing. Our Danbury domestic violence attorneys work to prevent these repercussions and uphold a defendant’s rights during the criminal justice process.
Contact a Danbury Domestic Violence Attorney for Help
There is no single best way to approach a domestic violence charge, as these cases can vary drastically depending on the circumstances and people allegedly involved. In any situation, though, guidance from a defense attorney will be crucial to protecting your rights and future prospects.
Speaking with a Danbury domestic violence lawyer could provide you with clarity and confidence about your next steps. Call Ruane Attorneys today to set up a private meeting about your case.