Connecticut Family Violence Program

by Joseph C. Maya on Aug. 11, 2017

Divorce & Family Law Family Law Criminal 

Summary: A blog post about the family violence program in Connecticut.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call the offices of Maya Murphy, P.C. today at (203) 221-3100 or Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at

When an individual is arrested and charged with a crime involving harassment or a physical altercation with either a spouse or a girlfriend/boyfriend, any charge(s) will most likely include an element of domestic violence. Family or domestic violence charges are handled at the courthouse through the Family Relations Office, which has its own unique procedures and requirements for the prosecution or resolution of those charges.

If an individual is charged with a family violence related crime, the Defendant may be eligible for application to the Family Violence Education Program (“Program”), which is a pre-trial diversionary program provided through the State. (C.G.S. § 46b-38c(g)).  The Family Violence Education Program is available to individuals charged with certain family violence crimes, as defined in C.G.S. § 46b-38a (a crime…which contains as an element thereof, an act of family violence to a family or household member).

As its purpose, the Program is meant to inform and educate participants of the basic elements of family violence law, the impact of the crimes upon other individuals, and the applicable penalties associated with those crimes.  The Court may, in its discretion, invoke such Program, upon motion of the Defendant when it finds: (A) that the Defendant has not previously been convicted of a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; (B) the Defendant has not had a previous case assigned to the Family Violence Education Program; (C) the Defendant has not previously invoked or accepted Accelerated Rehabilitation for a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; and (D) that the Defendant is not charged with a class A, class B or class C felony, or an unclassified felony carrying a term of imprisonment of more than ten (10) years, or unless good cause is shown, a class D felony, an unclassified offense carrying a term of imprisonment of more than five (5) years, or an offense that involved the infliction of serious physical injury.  Participation by any person in the Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation Program prior to October 1, 1986, will not prohibit eligibility of that person for the Pretrial Family Violence Education Program.

Upon Defendant’s application into the Program, the Court may require that the Defendant answer eligibility questions under oath, in open court, as will assist the Court in its determination of eligibility.  Once an application has been made by the Defendant, notice of the Defendant’s request must be provided to any and all victims of the crimes alleged, and the victims must be provided an opportunity to be heard by the Court regarding the Defendant’s application.  If the Program is granted to the Defendant, the Defendant is released into the custody of the Family Violence Intervention Unit (CCSD), for a period not to exceed two (2) years, under any other conditions as set forth by the Court.  If the Defendant successfully completes the Program, the charges against the Defendant are dismissed.  Upon dismissal of the charges, all records of those charges must be erased.

While family violence related crimes are of a very serious nature under Connecticut criminal law, offenders are provided the opportunity to educate themselves about the horrific nature of such crimes in the Family Violence Education Program in lieu of criminal prosecution.

If you have been arrested and charged with a family violence crime, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at  We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients throughout Connecticut and all of Fairfield County, from Greenwich and Stamford to Westport and Bridgeport.

Source: C.G.S. § 46b-38c(g)

C.G.S. § 46b-38a

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