A push by Connecticut lawmakers to protect families has led to harsher penalties for people convicted of domestic violence. When facing these allegations, you must be proactive to prevent long-lasting consequences. A Milford domestic violence lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights throughout the proceedings.
Working with the legal team at Ruane Attorneys could improve your chances of resolving the case favorably and preserving your personal and professional prospects. Our attorneys can present a strong defense in court or negotiate alternative remedies on your behalf.
Domestic Violence Laws in Milford
Connecticut does not define domestic violence as a specific, individual crime. Instead, C.G.A. 815e § 46b(38a) makes it a potentially aggravating factor for an underlying criminal charge, which could alter the penalties the court imposes upon conviction.
An act is considered “family violence” when a person commits certain crimes against their spouse, parents, children, intimate partner, housemates, or other persons related by blood or marriage. Family violence designations are applied to actions that cause the alleged victim physical harm or the fear of physical harm. Assault, battery, sexual assault, and child abuse are common underlying crimes in domestic violence cases. Violent threats, stalking, and harassment are also considered to cause a reasonable fear of physical harm.
Regardless of the specific domestic violence allegations, those accused need representation and legal guidance from a local attorney at our firm. Legal counsel could work to build a defense that prevents severe penalties.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges
The “family violence” designation can seriously affect defendants’ lives long before their cases go to trial. For instance, the court may grant a protective order limiting the defendant’s freedom before they are convicted of a crime.
Compelled Arrest for Domestic Violence
One consequence unique to domestic violence crimes is compelled arrest. Under C.G.A 815e § 46b(38b), if a law enforcement officer determines that an act of family violence has occurred, they must arrest and charge the person they deem the “dominant aggressor.” It does not matter if the alleged victim asks for the arrest or expressly requests that officers do not make the arrest. The arrest is compelled by law.
Domestic violence is grounds for a protective order, also known as a restraining order, against the defendant. These orders make it a crime for the defendant to contact or go near the victim. Such orders can lead to significant complications for the defendant, who may need to find alternate housing and could be barred from entering certain public or commercial spaces.
In Connecticut, violating the contact provisions of a protective order is a Class D felony per C.G.A. 952 § 53a(223). A conviction for a Class D felony could mean up to five years in prison under the Connecticut Penal Code. If the protective order violation involves threats, harassment, stalking, or violence, it becomes a Class C felony, which carries a possible 10-year prison sentence.
Our domestic violence attorneys in Milford work to build defenses to mitigate or avoid these penalties. From the moment of the defendant’s arrest, we can begin representing their best interests and protecting their rights.
Criminal History of Domestic Violence
Per C.G.A. 815e § 46b(38h), when a person is convicted of a crime against a family or household member, their criminal record will specifically mention that family violence was involved. This designation could impact opportunities requiring background checks and increase penalties for future domestic violence charges.
Work with a Milford Domestic Violence Attorney Today
When faced with domestic violence charges, presenting a strong defense is essential to protecting your long-term interests. A Milford domestic violence lawyer can help you navigate the legal process effectively and contest the charges against you. Reach out to Ruane Attorneys today to get started on your case. We are here to discuss your situation, explain your legal options, and provide dedicated representation.