Domestic violence charges are serious and, even if you are innocent, you’ll need a strong defense to have the optimal outcome of your case. Before you talk to anyone in law enforcement, you should first seek legal representation. Call our Connecticut criminal defense attorneys at The Sills Law Firm even if you haven’t been arrested and an investigation is still pending. You can be sure law enforcement and the local prosecutors are already gathering all the information they can to convict you, so it’s imperative to start strategizing your defense as soon as possible.
What Is Domestic Violence per Connecticut Law?
Domestic violence, which is called “family violence” in Connecticut, occurs between household or family members, and results in serious physical injury or fear about imminent physical injury. It is a serious criminal charge involving a pattern of abusive behavior that may not necessarily be physically violent. It can include emotional, verbal, sexual, or financial abuse, as well. These crimes are pervasive and often life-threatening. Connecticut laws on family violence are created by the Connecticut General Assembly and are intended to hold offenders accountable and keep victims safe. The law makes it illegal to assault, threaten, stalk, or violate restraining orders.
Prosecution Tactics in a Domestic Violence Trial
Domestic violence cases are hard to litigate because they are largely a complicated “he said/she said” situation involving two people entangled in a lengthy conflict that allegedly turned violent. Because it is the prosecutor’s job to convict you, s/he will inevitably try to play on juror biases that you are lying to save yourself from incarceration. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Sills Law Firm have ways to counter bogus assumptions made by judges and juries alike, as these individuals tend to develop preconceived notions about the defendant’s guilt.
Three things the prosecution will assume in virtually any domestic violence case include:
- The defendant is lying: The prosecution will argue that you, the defendant, must be lying in an attempt to avoid the harsh penalties tied to domestic violence convictions. Your credibility will be attacked, and the prosecutor will make every effort to attempt to catch you in a lie.
- The alleged victim would never lie: The prosecution can do mental gymnastics to take the side of an alleged victim. For instance, if the victim changes or recants their story, it may be construed as evidence of their victimhood. Likewise, if the victim sticks to their story, the prosecutor can argue that consistency implies they are telling the truth.
- A prior criminal record means you’re guilty of domestic violence: If you have a prior felony on your record, the prosecution will attempt to inform the jury about it to convince them you must be guilty of this criminal charge as well. While in most cases the prosecution is barred from introducing prior convictions to the jury, you can’t un-ring a bell. Once the prosecutor intimates or outright mentions a past conviction, it is very difficult for the jury to maintain an impartial perspective.
If you are the subject of a domestic violence investigation or if you have been arrested, you need to take every step you can to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Contact us at The Sills Law Firm. Our Connecticut domestic violence defense lawyers can be reached at (860) 524-8118 for a free case evaluation.