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Why It’s So (Unfairly) Easy to Get Arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Connecticut

Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence

It’s one of the easiest arrests for Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and Connecticut police to make. It’s Disorderly Conduct under CGS 53a-182, one of the lowest level misdemeanors and perhaps the most frequently charged crimes in Connecticut. But no matter how minor the incident may be, the crime is still a misdemeanor and will still tarnish your record, causing havoc to your online reputation, and employment background checks.

So why are the top criminal lawyers in Greenwich, Darien and Stamford Connecticut seeing so many Disorderly Conduct arrests in the domestic violence courts? It’s a combination of the unfair overbreadth of the Connecticut Disorderly Conduct statute, coupled with law enforcement’s tendency to be overly cautious in making arrests to essentially kick the can to the courthouse to fix a tense domestic situation.

Just How Broad Is Connecticut’s Disorderly Conduct Criminal Statute?

As the best Darien, Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys understand, you can get arrested for Disorderly Conduct in Connecticut if, with the intention of causing “annoyance, alarm, or inconvenience” to another person, you fight with, threaten, annoy, interfere or disturb another person.

Annoy? Alarm? Inconvenience? How can lawmakers pass legislation like this with a straight face? These are broad, ambiguous terms that can easily be subjectively interpreted and enforced by Connecticut police officers. It swings the pendulum of police and prosecutorial discretion way too far in favor of law enforcement.

You see, people get arrested 1 of 2 ways—(1) on scene, when police show up to a domestic violence 911 call, speak to witnesses, investigate, take photos, and them make a finding of probable cause and arrest you; or (2) by arrest warrant process, where police investigate, and then submit their evidence and findings to a state prosecutor (in the form of an arrest warrant application) who reviews the case, signs the warrant, and submits it to a judge for approval. So when someone can get arrested in Connecticut for causing “alarm, inconvenience or annoyance” to another person, it’s clear that it’s not a very high burden of proof for police and prosecutors to effect the arrest.

Getting arrested is one thing. But getting convicted and having a permanent criminal record requires much more proof. That’s where the job of a top Stamford / Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney comes in to get your Connecticut Disorderly Conduct arrest dismissed quickly and affordably.

3 Quick Ways to Get Your Connecticut Disorderly Conduct Arrest Dismissed

In spite of the unfairness of the arrest itself, the playing field levels a bit once you get to court. Prosecutors, not police, are now in charge. And often prosecutors are interested in distinguishing the high risk cases that need court supervision and monitoring from the low-risk cases that don’t need to linger and clog up the court system.

As a result, I’ve had success with 3 defense strategies that have seen success in getting Connecticut Disorderly Conduct arrests quickly:

  1. Convince the court there are no domestic violence or safety issues in your home. This can be done over the course of 6-8 weeks, and you can sometimes see your charges dropped over that time period. Talk to your lawyer about seeing a forensic evaluator counselor who has credibility with the court.
  2. Mediate the domestic dispute. In some cases the court is less focused on rehabilitation, and more concerned about the safety of the victim. If you had a relatively minor argument with your spouse, loved one, or family member, and you can mediate the case with the help of the Family Relations Office and your top Connecticut Disorderly Conduct lawyer, then your Connecticut Disorderly Conduct charge just may get dropped quickly.
  3. Apply for Connecticut’s Family Violence Education Program. This program is not for everyone arrested in Connecticut for a domestic violence crime. It is usually appropriate, however, for people arrested in the Stamford and Norwalk Connecticut criminal courts with multiple domestic violence charges like Assault Third Degree, Disorderly Conduct and Breach of Peace Second Degree. The program consists of 9 anger management classes, and involves a period of monitoring that typically ranges from 6 months to 2 years. Obviously, our clients want the shortest amount of time that their case is kept open—not just for employment background checks, but so that the accusers cannot try to drag out their cases with false allegations of abuse or domestic violence. Follow this link to read more about whether the Family Violence Education Program is right for you.

Contact an Experienced Disorderly Conduct Lawyer at Mark Sherman Law Today

A Connecticut Disorderly Conduct arrest may feel like a minor charge, but once you’ve appeared at your Connecticut domestic violence court arraignment, or sat in any Connecticut domestic violence courtroom, you can quickly see how a minor charge can balloon into a bigger problem, especially if state prosecutors want to keep your case alive for 12 months or longer. So if you’ve been arrested in Connecticut for Disorderly Conduct / C.G.S. 53a-182, contact the domestic violence criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. For more background on our firm, you can read our former client reviews. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.

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