Sweeping legislation and procedures are changing Connecticut domestic violence cases and could potentially lead to the disruption of would-be assaults and possibly even murders. These new laws range from batterer's intervention programs to GPS monitoring and all have one thing in common—the protection of victims.
The strictest of these new laws involves GPS monitoring for some domestic violence offenders whom are under protection orders. The monitor is designed to notify the offender's victim when he gets within a certain distance, giving the victim a “fighting chance”, according to the Hartford Courant.
This GPS program will only begin as a pilot program, affecting offenders in the Hartford, Danielson, and Bridgeport districts. Only those deemed the “most dangerous” will be required to wear the device and, for now, the program will only last through March 2011.
Another change is the growing popularity of batterer's intervention programs. These sorts of anger management and cognitive therapy programs seek to actually help the abuser change their ways rather than simply locking them up for a sentence. If the participator truly wants to change their behavior, these programs can help.
Some districts and police departments in the state have recently created units specifically geared towards the enforcement and prevention of domestic violence laws. These laws are unique and very sensitive, making a specialized unit an asset to any department.
Even some courts have specialized dockets or courts used specifically for domestic violence cases. Judges have said that these types of courts allow for better monitoring of offenders and a more positive end result overall.
Several high profile cases over the past several years have led to these changes in domestic violence laws. People are now beginning to understand the sensitive nature of these charges and the potential for a seemingly minor incident to grow into a violent and potentially deadly situation.
This isn't to say that all those accused of domestic violence will be treated as an example and face very harsh penalties. As a matter of fact, many jurisdictions offer an alternative resolution to prosecution. Often referred to as nolle cases, these are cases where the defendant may have to admit guilt and attend counseling but have the charges dropped as a result.
While this first time free-pass sort of situation cannot be used again and again, if you are facing domestic violence charges for a first time, you may qualify for such an opportunity.
If you are facing charges of domestic violence or violation of a restraining order, call me today. I can discuss your options and how new practices within the courts may affect your case.