Many times, domestic violence incidents occur between two adults while their children are present. If you share a child in common, even if you are not married or dating, any dispute or altercation would qualify for prosecution under Connecticut’s domestic violence criminal laws. In the worst of situations, these children can become direct victims of domestic violence as well.
Additional Charges May Be Bought If Children Witness or Are Present during a Domestic Violence Incident
Whenever there are children involved a couple of things take place. Generally, a domestic violence incident in front of a child will give rise to a charge called “risk of injury to a minor” or at the very minimum a charge called “reckless endangerment.”
An Injury to a Child Raises the Charge to a Felony
This charge essentially means that you’re endangering the morals of the child or putting them in risk by being in close proximity to a situation like that. Those are charges that arise merely because there’s the presence of a minor in the house. A risk of injury to a minor charge is a felony at court and it is a pretty serious felony. That will increase your exposure to jail and the seriousness of your case. Risk of injury to minor cases are prosecuted under Connecticut General Statutes § 53-21, and in most situations, can result in a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
If Children Were Present during a Domestic Violence Incident, the Case Will Be Referred to Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families
The other thing that happens whenever a child is present and an arrest is made in an issue like this, there will always be a referral to the Department of Children and Families “DCF.” They will set up an independent assessment to determine if the current situation is suitable for the child. That is another administrative issue that the person is going to have to deal with if there was a child present.
If children are present, the police will be required to identify the dominant aggressor. They will not simply arrest a party, identified as a victim, merely because there is a child present. In that situation, the children may likely remain with the other party. However, if both parties are arrested, the children may be taken from the home temporarily. If the police need to arrest both parties, they will and then try to make arrangements for another family member to look after the child. If no one is available, they will place the child in protective custody until the parents are released.
Sometimes protective orders can extend to minor children as well and prevent parents from seeing the children for much longer.
Because of the Serious Nature of a Domestic Violence Charge, You Will Always Go before a Judge the Day Following an Arrest
On a typical domestic violence arrest, a bond or a promise to appear will be issued. You will always go to court the next day regardless of whether you post a bond or not. In some domestic violence cases the bond is reduced, provided you comply with the treatment and the counseling recommendations that Family Services is providing.
Generally, you are not held very long. However, if the charges occur on Friday or over the weekend and you cannot post bond, you will have to stay in jail until Monday. Obviously if the charges are more serious, if the victim was seriously injured, then the bond would be higher. If you are not able to post your bond, you would then be held throughout the pendency of the case.
If facing domestic violence allegations in Connecticut is important you enlist the legal guidance of a criminal defense attorney immediately.
If you are charged with a domestic violence crime, contact our Connecticut Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at The Sills Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our firm is not afraid to take on the power of the State of Connecticut on your behalf.
The Sills Law Firm defends Connecticut criminal cases statewide and maintains offices in Hartford and Waterbury. In addition to Hartford and Waterbury, the Firm regularly appears in the following courts: Danbury, Derby, Meriden, Middletown, Manchester, Enfield, New Britain, Torrington, Rockville, Milford, and New Haven.
Related: Risk of Injury to a Child in CT