Being accused of assaulting, harassing, or otherwise endangering your spouse is a serious matter in Connecticut. Court authorities have many legal options for prosecuting this sort of offense. You may also face substantial sanctions even if your criminal case does not result in a conviction.
You should not try to handle this situation without a defense attorney on your side. By working with a New Haven spousal abuse lawyer at Ruane Attorneys, you can better prepare yourself to contest the allegations. Our team will build a defense tailored to the situation and work toward a positive case result.
Common Spousal Abuse Charges in New Haven
Unlike some states, Connecticut does not treat spousal abuse as a distinct criminal offense. Previously, state law defined sexual assault within a “spousal or cohabitating relationship” as a separate offense. However, the relevant statute was repealed in 2019 in favor of more broadly applicable sexual assault laws.
Instead, law enforcement can charge someone accused of spousal abuse with one or more criminal offenses depending on the specific allegations. Some of the more common statutes that spousal abuse charges are prosecuted under include:
- Assault, under Connecticut General Statute §§53a-59 through 53a-61a
- Second-degree threatening, under C.G.S. §53a-62
- Strangulation, under C.G.S. §53a-64aa through 53a-64cc
- Sexual assault, under C.G.S. §53a-70 through 53a-73a
- Unlawful restraint, under C.G.S. §53a-95 or 53a-96
- Second-degree breach of the peace, under C.G.S. §53a-181
- Disorderly conduct, under C.G.S. §53a-182
This means that spousal abuse charges can cover the full range of criminal classifications in Connecticut, from class C misdemeanor disorderly conduct up to first-degree assault with aggravating conditions (a class A felony). As a local spousal abuse attorney can explain, the designation of the offense as a form of domestic violence often leads to a court imposing a protective order against the defendant during their initial arraignment.
Contesting Spousal Violence Accusations
Some spousal abuse allegations can be addressed outside of criminal court. If a criminal charge stems from a misunderstanding or minor dispute which has since been resolved, the involved parties can often work together to negotiate for the charges to be dropped. If the defendant is a first-time offender, their New Haven spousal abuse lawyer could argue for participation in a Family Violence Education Program as an alternative to criminal prosecution.
The appropriate defense strategy against a spousal abuse accusation will depend on the specific charges, the prosecution’s evidence, and the defendant’s criminal history. Assistance from our attorneys in New Haven can be vital to executing a strong defense in spousal abuse cases.
Consider Working with a New Haven Spousal Abuse Attorney
Spousal abuse allegations can significantly impact your personal, professional, and social life, regardless of whether the accusations lead to criminal charges. If you are criminally charged with offenses against your partner, getting help from legal counsel could make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
A New Haven spousal abuse lawyer can explain your rights and legal options in detail during a private initial consultation. The sooner you reach out to Ruane Attorneys, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and working to resolve the situation. Call our firm today to discuss your case.