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Impact of New Haven Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence is a classification which is dependent upon the relationship between the defendant and the complainant. If that statutory definition is met, a crime may be classified as domestic violence.

For example, if a husband and wife get into an argument and there is an allegation that the husband assaults the wife. If the police are called, the defendant will be arrested for various crimes. For example, assault, disorderly conduct, and threatening. However, because the husband and wife meet the statutory definition needed for domestic violence, those crimes then become classified as domestic violence offenses and warrant attention from a New Haven domestic violence lawyer.

Preliminary Consequences

Anytime there is an arrest for a domestic violence offense, the individual will be arraigned and the court will issue a protective order. Typically, there are three levels of a protective order.

  • The first requires that the defendant not engage in threatening, abusive, or stalking behavior towards the protected person. It also requires that the defendant give up any firearms or other weapons. Essentially it is the least limited; it prevents you from engaging in what is already illegal conduct.
  • The second type is what is called a residential stay away. That prohibits threatening, harassing, stalking, or assaulting the protected party. It also prevents the defendant from going to the complainant’s house or their place of residence. You are allowed to have contact, but you just simply cannot go to that person’s place of residence.
  • The final and most restrictive protective order is a full no contact. In a full no contact protective order, you cannot have any contact whatsoever, not through phone call, email, text, or social media. It is no contact. You cannot have any contact whatsoever, so that is the most restrictive. Those are the three standard types of protective orders.

However, in addition to those standard orders, a court can impose orders which are unique to each case and would depend on each individual set of circumstances.

Consequences For Violating a Protective Order

A violation of a Protective Order is a Class C felony carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. This violation is a new case that is separate and distinct from the original, underlying offense. Very often the additional arrest will cause not only additional inconvenience and cost, but is very often more serious than the underlying case.

The reason they are so serious is because the courts and the prosecutors view them as a direct violation of a court order. If they believe that an individual cannot abide by a court order, then in the eyes of the court it is likely that they will not be able to abide by the rules of probation. If that is the case then the person in all likelihood did commit the offense. Therefore a violation of a protective order is very problematic, both in terms of a direct consequence associated with the new arrest, as well as the initial arrest.

Impact on Child Custody and Visitation

If an individual is arrested for a domestic violence offense, as long as the complainant in that matter is not one of the children, the criminal case typically will not impact the visitation and custody.

However, very often the protective orders will become problematic in terms of arranging visitation. For example, if a husband and wife are in the midst of a divorce and the husband is charged with an assault, the court will issue a protective order for his wife and it very well may prohibit any contact.

If there can be no contact, it becomes problematic to arrange child visitation. So in these types of situations, it is typically done through third parties, which can become difficult. It needs to be handled from the very beginning at the arraignment and through the protective order.

Similarly, this is something that often comes up and goes hand in hand with a pending divorce or other custody issue. The key is that the defendant has an attorney for the domestic, criminal, and family custody cases, and that they all coordinate with one another and are well aware of what is happening in each case.

If in fact the protected party is the defendant’s child, it can have great repercussions. It essentially can prevent contact with the child. Therefore, it is important that those protective orders are dealt with and handled from the very beginning.

Benefits of Legal Representation

By hiring a local attorney, you are hiring someone who knows the court system, the prosecutors, the judges, and what is effective in that courthouse. Familiarity with the court allows a lawyer to anticipate problems, form arguments that are most effective, and explain to the client, the best way to handle a situation given their experience in that particular courthouse.

By hiring a local attorney, you are able to ensure that you have someone knowledgeable about the system who puts you in the best position to get the most beneficial outcome.