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Alternatives for those charged with domestic violence


Family situations can be fraught with stress, frustration and anger than can sometimes boil over into physical confrontations. These can occur between couples, between a parent and child or they may involve other members of a family. Our readers may remember that last year U.S. Women's Soccer star Hope Solo was arrested for allegedly assaulting her teenage nephew and her half-sister.

Some people bristle at the term "domestic violence" because it sounds more innocuous than other legal terms like assault. In fact, Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview last year, "The one regret I have is we call it 'domestic violence,' as if it's a domesticated cat."

However, law enforcement does take it seriously. If the police are called, whether by someone in the home or by a neighbor or someone else who hears or sees the confrontation, there can be criminal penalties.

If an incident allegedly occurs in front of a minor, a person could face a felony charge of "risk of injury to a minor child" in addition to charges involving the alleged altercation itself. If you are that child's parent, you risk losing your parental rights.

A conviction for domestic violence can result in prison time. It can impact your career and relationships. If you are in the midst of a divorce or already divorced, a domestic violence conviction will do you no good, particularly when it comes to custody and visitation rights involving your children.

At The Law Office of Jerome Paun, we work to help Connecticut residents facing domestic violence charges show that they are false, if they are. We can also work to help mitigate the criminal penalties and the impact on our clients' lives. For example, some first-time offenders can qualify for the Family Violence Education Program. The FVEP can help people avoid having a criminal conviction on their record. Sometimes, a defendant is allowed to complete a substance abuse program or get mental health treatment instead of facing a conviction.

If you or a loved one is facing charges related to domestic violence, call or contact us online to arrange for a free consultation. Let's see how we can help you.