Top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys are frequently asked the same question: will an accidental or harmless Facebook message, Instagram, email or text message to your spouse or family member get you arrested in Connecticut for violating a Connecticut restraining order or Connecticut protective order. If it’s a Connecticut full no contact protective / restraining order, then the answer is a resounding YES.
When the Norwalk, Stamford, Bridgeport or Danbury Connecticut domestic violence courts order a “Full No Contact” protective order against you, there is zero tolerance or margin for error. Even the most harmless, trivial or accidental text message or email can get you arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, Wilton, Darien, New Canaan or Fairfield Connecticut for Criminal Violation of a Protective Order under CGS 53a-223, a Class D felony with a maximum 5 year jail sentence. So how can you fight arrests in Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury and Bridgeport Connecticut domestic violence courts for Violation of a Protective Order? For starters, it’s all about crafting the most persuasive and technical defense and convincing the prosecutor that the alleged “victim” is using and abusing the criminal court process to harass and humiliate you. Keep reading to learn more about how to turn the tidal wave of the criminal court process away from you and against your accuser…
The best Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys who fight arrests for Criminal Violation of Protective Orders will often try and turn the tables on the accusers in cases like these. Time and again, the top Restraining Order lawyers in Connecticut have seen supposed “victims” use their restraining and criminal protective orders as swords, not shields. This means that spouses and family members protected by a Connecticut restraining / protective order—often referred to in courts as protected persons, victims, complainants, or accusers—might try to entrap, bait, lure or trick you into violating the order. When you have a Connecticut Full No Contact protective order / restraining order against you, it is not a crime for the protected person to contact you, yet you are not allowed to respond or reply under any circumstances—even in an emergency—or you risk getting arrested. What the best Stamford, New Canaan, Wilton, and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers regularly recommend is that you save and preserve all your text messages, emails and Facebook messages which prove that the victim was reaching out to you first. And if these communications are not readily available, then your top Connecticut domestic violence criminal lawyer can file a motion with the court to preserve this electronic and digital evidence on constitutional due process grounds. While this is not a complete defense to your Connecticut Violation of Protective / Restraining Order arrest, it will likely carry compelling weight in the pre-trial negotiations stages of your case.
You see, prosecutors don’t like to feel like Connecticut domestic violence victims or accusers are manipulating the criminal court process to gain leverage in their Connecticut divorce cases, especially when nasty and contested divorce actions are pending, or a Connecticut motion for exclusive possession of the family home is pending in any of the Stamford, Bridgeport or Danbury divorce courts. As the best Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut divorce lawyers know, a “motion for exclusive possession” in Connecticut is a battle between two spouses on the crucial issue of who gets to remain in the family home during the divorce proceedings, which can last years. If a Connecticut criminal court issues a Full No Contact protective order, or a Full / Residential Stay-Away criminal protective order, while an exclusive possession motion is pending, not only does it temporarily moot the exclusive possession motion for weeks or months, but the issuance of the order can become an meaningful talking point in the exclusive possession hearing itself. As a result, the best divorce lawyers and attorneys in Greenwich, Darien, Westport and New Canaan Connecticut will relish the chance to exploit a violation of a protective order arrest in a nasty Connecticut divorce case. This approach—often called “Divorce by 911” or “Exclusive Possession by 911” in the circles of top Connecticut criminal lawyers—is often inserted into Connecticut criminal cases by slick-tongued Connecticut criminal lawyers to either bolster their defense to Violation of Protective Order arrests, or rhetorically deflect their client’s misconduct. Either way, it’s a developing legal issue that top Fairfield County divorce lawyers and criminal lawyers are following closely.
The best way to avoid an arrest for a Connecticut criminal protective order is to argue for the most favorable terms and conditions of your Connecticut criminal protective order (or your Connecticut civil restraining order). For example, a “Full No Contact” protective order issued by the Norwalk, Danbury, Stamford, or Bridgeport Connecticut domestic violence courts typically forbid any kind of contact whatsoever with the accusers, including any kind of electronic or social media contact. If you need to be able to communicate with your spouse or family member for important issues such as child care, child visitation, finances, health care, or a family business, then it is critical that you or your top Danbury or Greenwich Connecticut domestic violence criminal lawyer move the court for a carve-out exception to your Connecticut Full No Contact restraining order to allow for such contact. If you do not make these requests to the court at the time that your Connecticut criminal protective order or Connecticut civil restraining order is issued, then it can take weeks or even months to get back in front of a judge for a hearing to modify the conditions of your Connecticut protective / restraining order (click here for more information on how to modify your Connecticut restraining / protective order). The bottom line…read the terms and conditions of your Connecticut restraining order carefully—violating your order is a felony and claiming you did not know the specifics or fine print of your order will not stop you from getting arrested in Connecticut for Criminal Violation of a Protective Order under CGS 53a-223.
So if you are arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, Westport, Wilton or Darien Connecticut for 53a-223 Criminal Violation of Protective Order as a result of a technical violation of your Connecticut domestic violence protective order, whether through Facebook, Instagram, email or text messaging, contact one of the experienced criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. As a firm that represents both defendants and victims in domestic violence cases, we are acutely aware of the interplay between your criminal charges and your divorce case, and will work closely with your top Greenwich Connecticut divorce lawyer to make sure that each of your cases are not compromised by a jilted or unethical spouse or family member who has tried to bait you into getting arrested for a felony violation of protective order charge in Connecticut. So start getting ahead of your case by getting in front of one of the Mark Sherman Law Firm’s criminal lawyers today. We are available 24/7 to take your call.