Process of a New Haven Domestic Violence Case
Domestic violence is not a criminal charge, but instead a classification. A defendant will be charged with a criminal offense, for example assault in the third degree, and if certain requirements are met that criminal offense may be classified as a domestic violence offense depending on the relationship between the complainant and the defendant. Possible criminal offenses that might be charged in domestic violence incidents and warrant contact with a New Haven domestic violence lawyer include assault, risk of injury, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, unlawful restraint, threatening, and strangulation. If arrested for any of these offenses and determined to have committed a domestic violence crime, the following is what you should expect.
Step 1: Investigation and Arrest
Very often the first thing you can expect from these types of situations is an on-site arrest and the beginning of an investigation. Typically, police are called to a scene by the complainant, neighbors, or another party where they will start investigating the allegations which may then lead to the on-site arrest.
Step 2: Processing
Once an arrest is effectuated, an individual will be processed and brought to the police department where they are booked. At that point, a sergeant or officer with the police department sets a bond that might include a promise to appear (PTA); where the defendant is simply told to go to court and if they fail to do so you will be arrested for failure to appear. The sergeant may also set a bond in order for the individual to be released from custody.
In that situation you will need to post a sum of money with a bondsman to be released from the police department. When you post the bond through a bondsman the money you pay is nonrefundable. As a result, some individuals post the bond directly with the court. In this situation, the money is returned at the end of the case so long as the individual appears in court. However, the vast majority of people work with a bondsman.
Step 3: Protective Order
When you are released on a PTA or after posting a bond, the police officer immediately issues a protective order. That protective order limits the contact you can have with the complainant. You are then given a date to appear in court. It is important for the defendant to have a New Haven domestic violence lawyer to guide them through the court process and to deal with protective orders.
Step 4: Appearing in Court
In New Haven, for domestic violence cases, the court date will be the first business day following the person’s arrest. If you are arrested on a Friday night, you are brought to court on Monday. If you are arrested on a Wednesday, you are brought to court on Thursday. Interestingly, in all other criminal cases, you are given a court date in about two weeks following their arrest, but in a domestic setting, you are brought to court the following day. The reason for this is so that the court can issue a protective order.
Once the person is in court in New Haven, his or her domestic violence attorney deals with the protective order, obtains the police reports, and moves forward with the court process.