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Violation of Protective / Restraining Orders

Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Orders / Restraining Orders

Almost all Connecticut domestic violence charges carry with them some form of a criminal protective or restraining order that attempts to protect an alleged victim from the person arrested for a domestic violence crime. Domestic violence courts in Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury often order these protective orders at the arraignment date—that is, the very first day that a domestic violence defendant appears in court. These orders can last for the entire duration of the case and can often be very strict. Some orders forbid all forms of contact with the alleged victim, some forbid a defendant from entering the home or workplace of a defendant, and “partial” protective orders prohibit defendants from “threatening, intimidating or harassing” an alleged victims.

If you are facing domestic violence charges in domestic violence courts in Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport or Danbury, then it is very likely that you are subject to a protective order. Connecticut domestic violence courts take compliance with these orders very seriously, as does the Connecticut legislature, who has designated a violation of a protective order as a felony charge, carrying with it up to 5 years of jail if convicted. For the precise definition of the Violation of Protective Order law, C.G.S. § 53a-223, and Violation of a Civil Restraining Order, C.G.S. § 53a-223b, click here.

Connecticut domestic violence prosecutors—whose job it is to prosecute violations of protective and restraining orders—have come to develop a nearly zero tolerance for violations, prosecuting individuals for technical violations of no-contact protective orders for such as texting, instant messaging, third party contact, facebook posts, etc. What may seem harmless in the eyes of family members is taken very seriously in domestic violence court, and the consequences are serious.

If you have been arrested for a Connecticut domestic violence crime, these orders can often have you removed from your home for weeks or months, and makes it very difficult and costly for you to get your life back to some degree of normalcy. Thus, it is critical that you consult an attorney regarding these protective orders to make sure you do not find yourself violating any of its terms or conditions.

The Types of Connecticut Criminal Protective Orders

There are several types of protective orders issued in Connecticut domestic violence courts in Stamford, Norwalk, Greenwich, Westport and Bridgeport. The most serious is a “full no contact” order which prohibits a defendant from having any contact whatsoever with the alleged victim, and forbids a defendant from entering this victim’s home or workplace. A “full” or “residential stay-away” order prohibits you from entering the victim’s home or workplace, but does permit contact. A “partial’ protective order is usually the least restrictive, and prohibits you from “threatening, intimidating or harassing” an alleged victim. Note, however, that the Court will often imposes additional restrictions on a protective order, and will always print these additional conditions directly on the order, so be sure to read the order very carefully.

How long do these orders remain in effect? Usually for the entire duration of a domestic violence case which can last between 6 to 12 months. Be aware that Connecticut courts and prosecutors in Stamford, Greenwich, Norwalk, New Canaan, Darien, Fairfield, Bridgeport and Westport strictly enforce these orders. Even a technical violation such as a seemingly innocent text message, phone call, or message sent through a relative can result in a felony arrest. That is why it is important to try to get your underlying domestic violence case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible, and to make sure you are able to live and work within the terms of any applicable protective orders.

Connecticut Civil Restraining Orders

In the Connecticut family court system, civil restraining orders are also imposed upon individuals as a result of tense and emotional family confrontation and altercations that may not necessarily result in a criminal arrest. However, once a restraining order is issued in the family court, a violation of that civil restraining order could result in a felony charge—the prosecution of which will take place in the Connecticut criminal courts, Then, as a result of your criminal arrest for violating a civil restraining order, the criminal court will generate a criminal protective order. Sound confusing? It is. Which makes it even more necessary to hire a top Connecticut criminal lawyer experienced in violation of protective order charges who can effectively and efficiently defend you against such charges.

Penalties for Violation of Protective Orders & Restraining Orders

A violation of a domestic violence criminal protective order, or a violation of a civil restraining order, are felony charges. They carry maximum penalties of ten years in jail, probation, fines and require submission of your DNA to the Department of Probation. It is essential that you understand the terms of your protective order, as a copy of the order is lodged with the local police department in the city in which you reside. Additionally, any time a protective order is in effect and you are pulled over by police or enter the United States via an airport, you will be questioned by law enforcement about that protective order.

Fighting Violation of Protective Order Charges

If you have been arrested for violation of a protective order, then it is essential that you hire an attorney who understands how to best defend you against these charges. Important factors in defending you against protective order violation charges include a forensic examination of the media involved in the alleged violation such as preservation and analysis of social media, cell phone records, audiovisual surveillance tapes and email data. The attorneys at Mark Sherman Law routinely fight these charges and can explore multiple options for you that will hopefully resolve your case without a guilty plea. One of the most important aspects of fighting these protective order violations—as with any Connecticut domestic violence charge—is working to assure the court and prosecution team that the alleged victim and all other family members are not at risk of emotional or physical harm from the Defendant.

Modification of Criminal Protective Orders and Restraining Orders

Many times after a domestic violence arrest takes place, family tensions eventually calm to a point where the protective orders may no longer be needed, yet the domestic violence court orders still remain in effect. The domestic violence attorneys at Mark Sherman Law can assist you in filing the appropriate motions to modify these protective orders. The process involves filing a modification motion as well as conducting a hearing before the judge, prosecutor, and family services social workers and advocates. If you are interested in trying to change or modify a criminal protective order in a Connecticut domestic violence court, contact us today.

Let us Defend You Against Violation of Protective Order Charges

To speak with a licensed Connecticut criminal attorney at Mark Sherman Law, or if you have any questions regarding your Connecticut strangulation criminal charges pending in Stamford, Bridgeport or Norwalk, contact Mark Sherman Law at (203) 358-4700. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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