FAQ: The Family Violence Education Program
Is your crime a domestic violence crime?
There are many offenses in Connecticut that relate to domestic violence. Some of those crimes include assault, threatening, stalking, sexual assault, violation of a protective order, breach of peace, disorderly conduct and strangulation.
Connecticut General Statute 46b-38a defines Family Violence as:
“an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury or assault, or an act of threatened violence that constitutes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, including, but not limited to, stalking or a pattern of threatening, between family or household members. Verbal abuse or argument does not constitute family violence unless there is present danger and the likelihood that physical violence will occur.”
What is the Family Violence Education Program?
The Connecticut Family Violence Education Program gives eligible defendants the chance to attend classes that provide education about family violence instead of going to trial and risking a conviction. If you are granted this Connecticut statutory privilege and complete the required classes, your case will be dismissed.
If you are charged with a Connecticut domestic violence offense, you may be eligible for the Family Violence Education Program. However, it is important to understand, that this program is a privilege and not a guarantee. A Connecticut Superior Court judge has the discretion to grant or deny you this privilege.
Do you qualify for the Family Violence Education Program?
The following are some factors that may make you more likely to receive The Family Violence Education Program:
- You have not previously been convicted of a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986;
- You have not had a previous case assigned to the Family Violence Education Program;
- You have had not previously been granted Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation under section 54-56e for a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986;
- You have not been charged with a class A, class B or class C felony, or an unclassified felony carrying a term of imprisonment of more than ten years; and
- unless good cause is shown, you have not been charged with a class D felony or an unclassified offense carrying a term of imprisonment of more than five years.
The following are also additional factors that may increase your likelihood of receiving the privilege of the Family Violence Education Program:
- Immediate counseling after your arrest instead of waiting for court-ordered counseling;
- A letter from a duly qualified mental health professional documenting your counseling.
Are there any fees associated with The Family Violence Education Program?
- A non-refundable fee of $100 (one hundred dollars) will be paid to the court for the application fee.
- A non-refundable fee of $200 (Two-hundred dollars) will be paid to the court, once the Family Violence Education Program is granted by the court.
If you have a prior non-domestic violence criminal conviction, don’t be discouraged. Remember that the court has the absolute discretion, to grant you the Family Violence Education Program, regardless of a prior conviction that is not related to domestic violence.
You need zealous advocates who have the experience to fight for you. The Maddox Law Firm will fight for you to receive this privilege.
What is Involved in a Well-Prepared Family Violence Education Application?
Understand that depending upon the number and complexity of the allegations against you, your case may take a long time to resolve. Also, understand that there is a strategy that only an experienced law firm understands when to apply for the privilege of The Family Violence Education Program. The Maddox Law Firm, LLC will thoroughly research your case understand the circumstances of your case, learn your story, and advocate for you.
When you are in the strongest position to apply for the Family Violence Education Program, The Maddox Law Firm will:
- Represent you in court and in discussions with the Connecticut State’s Attorney;
- Draft your application;
- Submit your application on the record, in court;
- Prepare you for questions that the judge will ask you concerning your application.
What More Should I expect from the Family Violence Education Process?
- You will be required to undergo an evaluation by the Family Intervention Unit and there may be one or more continuances of your case until a report is generated by the Family Intervention Unit.
- The court will send a notice to the alleged victim or victims who will have an opportunity to be heard by the Court about your application.
- There will be a hearing in court during which a Superior Court judge will decide whether to grant you the Family Violence Education Program.
- A judge may impose other conditions upon you, community service, if you are granted the Family Violence Education Program.
- After a period of time ordered by the court, and after you have completed the Family Violence Education classes and any conditions, we will return to court for you and obtain a dismissal of the charges.
The Maddox Law Firm, LLC will be by your side during this entire process.
What will be the result?
You will have no conviction and you will be entitled under Connecticut law to state that you have never even been arrested in connection with this particular case.