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

Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence

In Connecticut, one of the easiest arrests for police to make is disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is codified under CGS 53a-182 and is one of the lowest level misdemeanors and perhaps the most frequently charged crime in Connecticut. No matter how minor the incident may have been, domestic disorderly conduct can still tarnish your record and lead to long-term consequences.

Why are the top criminal lawyers in Connecticut seeing so many disorderly conduct arrests in domestic violence courts? It is due to 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 pass the domestic issue to the courthouse to fix. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in a domestic situation, call a Connecticut domestic disorderly conduct lawyer. A top CT attorney could fight against your domestic disorderly conduct charges.

What is a Connecticut Disorderly Conduct Offense?

How broad is Connecticut’s disorderly conduct statute? The law states that disorderly conduct in Connecticut could include:

  • Annoying
  • Alarming
  • Inconveniencing
  • Fighting
  • Threatening
  • Interfering, or
  • Disturbing another individual

Annoy, alarm, and inconvenience are broad, ambiguous terms that can easily be subjectively interpreted and enforced by Connecticut police officers. The ambiguity outlined in Conn. Gen. Statutes Sec. 53a – 182 allows the pendulum of police and prosecutorial discretion way too far in favor of law enforcement.

Domestic Disorderly Conduct Arrest Process

How do people get arrested for domestic disorderly conduct? Individuals get arrested in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Arrested on the scene. When the police show up to a domestic violence 9-1-1 call, speak to witnesses, investigate, take photos, and then law enforcement finds probable cause for an arrest.
  2. By arrest warrant process, which is when 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.

When someone gets arrested in Connecticut for causing “alarm, inconvenience, or annoyance” to another person, it’s clear that there is 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. A top Connecticut domestic disorderly conduct attorney could help fight to get the arrest dismissed quickly and affordably.

How Can I Get My Connecticut Disorderly Conduct Arrest Dismissed?

How do you get your domestic disorderly conduct charge dismissed? Our experienced Connecticut domestic disorderly conduct attorneys have success getting arrests dismissed with 3 different defense strategies:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Apply for Connecticut’s Family Violence Education Program. This program is not for everyone arrested for a domestic violence crime in Connecticut. It is usually appropriate, however, for people arrested in the Stamford and Norwalk criminal courts with multiple domestic violence charges like third-degree assault, disorderly conduct and second-degree breach of peace. The program consists of 9 anger management classes, and involves a period of monitoring that typically ranges from 6 months to 2 years. Obviously, people 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.

In spite of the unfairness of the arrest itself, the playing field levels a bit once you get to court. Prosecutors, not the 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.

Contact an Experienced Connecticut Domestic Disorderly Conduct Attorney

A domestic 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 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 for longer. So if you’ve been arrested in Connecticut for Disorderly Conduct / C.G.S. 53a-182, contact a Connecticut domestic disorderly conduct lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. For more background on our firm, you can read our Avvo.com-certified former client reviews. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.

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