Dometic violence arrests were on the rise in Connecticut even before the COVID-19 crisis. Since people have been locked in their homes doing social distancing – arrest rates for domestic violence have sky-rocketed. In this blog, I want to talk a little bit about what is driving this spike in domestic violence arrests and what clients can do to be prepared to get their cases resolved favorably when the Courts re-open after the crisis.
COVID-19 Crisis is Creating a Lot of Family Pressure
The COVID-19 is putting everyone under emotional and psychological stress. This stress is effecting some families adversely.
A lot of marriages are under pressure now. People are being trapped in their homes due to stay at home orders and discovering that perhaps they don’t see eye to eye on a lot of important matters. In China, when they stopped the quarantine in late February divorce filings increased to record levels. It seems that many people who are social distancing now will be also looking to end relationships and file for divorce when this crisis ends. In the meantime, loss of employment, financial pressures, the loss of massive amounts of wealth in the stock market, and disagreements over appropriate social distancing methods to employ in the household all have lead to increased stress and anxiety. Just being taken out of your normal routine and being forced to stay in your home can lead to tremendous stress levels. On top of all these stress factors, dealing with fears of contracting COVID-19 and watching news reports of people dying is creating a panicked atmosphere in our society.
Domestic Violence Cases on the Rise
Most people are staying at home and a recent release of information by Google shows that mobility is down by nearly 70% in Fairfield County. People are 30% more likely to be inside their home that elsewhere. Of course, this significant transformation of society caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a new wave of domestic violence arrests. Every time that someone calls 911 for a domestic violence complaint the police are mandated by law to make an arrest if they find probable cause that a crime has occurred. Probable cause is a really low standard of proof. This means that a lot of people are getting arrested. The ironic part is that very often the person who called 911 (the victim) never wanted to have the other party arrested and did not realize the serious nature of a domestic violence arrest.
Courts are Closed – Except for Domestic Violence Matters and Priority 1 Cases
The courts in Fairfield county are closed now. However, domestic violence arraignments are still taking place every day. If you have been arrested for a domestic violence case in Connecticut you will always have a mandatory arraignment the next day. These domestic violence arrangements are continuing as they are very important. These arraignments are one of the only functions which the judicial branch is performing now because criminal orders of protection are issued. Since these orders of protection can result in your being displaced from the family home it is imperative that you speak with a Connecticut domestic violence lawyer before your arraignment to make sure your rights are protected.
Courts are Closed – What does That Mean for my Case?
Other than arraignments and a few other priority 1 business functions the Courts are temporarily closed to the public and not transacting any business. In Fairfield County, all courthouses have been closed except for the high court at 1061 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604. All other courts remained closed. All cases are being postponed.
Our office remains open and fully functional. We continue to work on our clients’ cases. Our private investigator is out working tracking down leads and we are in the office every day – 7 days a week to serve your needs.
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence matter you should call us now so that we can implement a case action plan to lay the groundwork to get your case resolved more rapidly when the Courts open. This crisis will pass and there are going to be thousands of pending domestic violence cases in our state. Last week there were over 300 domestic violence arrests in Connecticut.
Our advice if you are one of the people who have a pending domestic violence case is to jump on a free video conference with us to go over the fact of your case and put some immediate plans in effect to help prepare your case now so it will be easier and faster to get your case resolved in May or June when the courts open.
This Crisis Will Pass!
The crisis is temporary. It is causing a lot of stress today both emotionally and financially but this situation will pass and things will return to normal again. In the meantime, if you have questions about how the court system is functioning, your case, or the law in general, please feel free to call us for a free consultation at (203) 357-5555. We remain open and are serving clients through video conferencing, facetime and DocuSign to protect or client’s health while serving your legal needs with the five-star customer service that you expect.
Stay healthy! Stay strong! Together as a Nation, we will get through this
Our office is conveniently located one block from the Stamford courthouse https://goo.gl/maps/HzfCsQmJHsWU8Z3s8