Connecticut Parole Violation Lawyer
If you are arrested and released from custody while your charges are still pending, a Superior Court criminal judge may order certain and specific “Conditions of Release.” Sometimes these conditions require you to do certain things (drug testing, alcohol counseling, anger management), while other conditions may forbid you from engaging in certain conduct (no contact, no drinking, no driving).
No matter which conditions are ordered in your arrest, however, they should be taken very seriously. If you don’t, and you fail to comply with any of these conditions, you can be arrested for Violation of Conditions of Release under CGS 53a-222. As a Connecticut parole violation lawyer can tell you, this offense is a separate criminal case from your first arrest and makes a bad situation in criminal court much worse. So if you are arrested for Violation of Conditions of Release, you should contact a top Connecticut criminal attorney right away to understand your options in fighting both of your criminal cases.
What Are Conditions of Release?
If you have been arrested, the conditions of release are the conditions and requirements ordered by the arresting police department until your first court date, called the “arraignment.” Then, at your arraignment, a Superior Court criminal judge will review those conditions and then order his or her own set of conditions which may or may not include the conditions already set by the arresting police department.
Examples of conditions of release might include travel restrictions, counseling, drug testing, cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), or a no-contact order. It will often require a bond to be posted to ensure your attendance at your court appearances. Additional possible conditions include being forbidden from possessing a dangerous weapon, drinking alcohol, or using any drug or controlled substance. The court can also impose a curfew, order house arrest, or require you to wear a GPS tracking device. Finally, in some criminal cases where the court is concerned that you may be a flight risk, you may be ordered to surrender your passport.
Penalties for First and Second Degree Parole Violation
First Degree Violation of Conditions of Release is defined in C.G.S. § 53a-222 and is actually a felony charge. You can be arrested for a parole violation in the first degree if you are accused of the following: (1) being arrested for an underlying felony crime in Connecticut, (2) having conditions imposed on your release (such as drug testing, anger management, etc.), and (3) not complying with any of these conditions of your release. This offense a Class D felony, carrying a maximum of five years in jail, fines, probation and the submission of a sample of your DNA to the State of Connecticut.
Violation of Conditions of Release in the Second Degree is defined in C.G.S. § 53a-222a. To be arrested for a parole violation in the Second Degree, you must (1) be charged in Connecticut with an underlying misdemeanor crime, (2) have been released from custody with court-ordered conditions while the underlying charge is still pending, and (3) be accused of violating at least one condition of release. Second Degree Violation of Conditions of Release is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, and can include probation and steep fines.
With these penalties for parole violations in mind, our Connecticut attorneys cannot stress the importance of you understanding your conditions of release. So if you do not understand your conditions of release, it is critical that you contact a top defense attorney in Connecticut to answer your questions.
Conditions of Release in Domestic Violence Arrests
If you are arrested for a domestic violence crime, then the arresting police officer and the domestic violence court will almost always order conditions of release. In fact, conditions of release for domestic or family violence crimes in Connecticut are issued at the time of your arrest, before an accused person even appears in court for the first time.
If you are arrested for a domestic violence crime such as Disorderly Conduct or Assault in the Third Degree, you will usually be ordered out of the alleged victim’s home (which is often your home too) until the Connecticut domestic violence court conducts a restraining order hearing at your domestic violence arraignment. There are 3 types of criminal protective/restraining orders, which differ in severity – (1) a partial protective order prevents you from harassing, threating, or assaulting a protected person, (2) a full residential stay-away protective order allows contact between the accused person and the alleged victim but prevents you from entering the alleged victim’s residence, and a full no contact protective order prohibits any and all contact between you and the protected person.
After your first court date for, the protective order effectively replaces the initial conditions of release issued by the police department, although it will often contain similar provisions. However, disobeying a criminal protective order is also a separate felony charge under CGS 53a-223, which can come with serious consequences, including fines and jail time. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you understand what your protective order permits and what it prohibits. If you have been charged with Violation of a Protective Order or restraining Order, contact a top parole defense attorney in Connecticut today.
How Long Do Conditions of Release Remain in Effect?
Parole conditions remain in effect for the entire duration of your criminal case. Sometimes this means a couple of months but it could mean longer, depending on the nature of your charges. The orders contained in your conditions of release are terminated when 1 of 4 events take place: (1) a judge modifies or terminates the conditions of your release, (2) the prosecutor enters a nolle in your case, meaning that the State of Connecticut is no longer going to pursue the criminal charges against you; (3) the judge dismisses your criminal case, or (4) you plead guilty to the offense carrying the conditions of release. Only the Court can modify the conditions of your release before they are terminated, so it is extremely important to make sure you comply with all court-ordered parole conditions while your criminal case is pending. A lawyer in Connecticut could explain how long your parole conditions may remain in effect to help you avoid violation.
What If I Do Not Comply with My Parole?
Failure to comply with conditions of release can have several consequences, which can be severe. The least serious consequence is that the Superior Court will increase amount of your bond. The prosecutor will sometimes request that the judge increase your bond, or a Connecticut criminal court judge can increase your bond without any request at all. If this happens, you will need to pay additional money to continue to be released during the pendency of your case and additional conditions may be imposed. If you are unable to post the additional bond money, you risk being incarcerated while your criminal arrest is pending.
Another consequence on top of a raised bond for your underlying case is the more serious alternative–a separate arrest for CGS 53a-222 Violation of Conditions of Release in the First or Second Degree. A separate arrest warrant will be applied for by a Connecticut prosecutor, and the police can come pick you up at your home, work, or school to arrest you. If you are arrested a parole violation, be sure to contact a top Connecticut attorney to understand your rights and options in fighting your charges.
Fighting Parole Violation Charges
If you are arrested for parole violations, then you will need to sit with your top Connecticut lawyer to craft the most cost-effective defense strategy available to you. Police reports, witness statements and surveillance videos must be examined with a careful eye. Court transcripts must be reviewed…did you have clear notice and explanation of the conditions of your release? Did the Superior Court communicate these conditions to you in your native language? Was the judge clear about the conditions? Was your violation intentional or accidental? Remember, a Violation of a Condition of Release must be intentional. An accidental parole violation is not a crime. As a result, the very best Connecticut parole violation lawyers could exercise certain time-sensitive constitutional rights, such as filing motions to preserve evidence, conducting forensic examinations of any media involved in the allegations, subpoenaing cell phone records, e-mails and social media communications, as well as any other audiovisual surveillance footage. Whatever the approach, it is critical to get in front of your case, quickly gather data and information, and then sit with your attorney to evaluate your defense strategy.
Contact a Connecticut Parole Violation Attorney Today
The court process can be confusing and convoluted, especially if you have been arrested Violating a Condition of Release that is associated with a separate and underlying misdemeanor or felony arrest. So if you have questions about your conditions of release or have been arrested for violating these conditions, call a Connecticut parole violation lawyer today.