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    Modifying a Protective Order in Greenwich

    After someone gets arrested on suspicion of a domestic violence offense in Connecticut, it is common for the court to impose a “protective order” against them at their arraignment. When you have had a protective order imposed against you, you have a right to request a modification of the order’s terms or even a revocation of the order as long as you follow the proper procedural steps within the right time frame. Guidance from a seasoned attorney is vital throughout each stage of the process for modifying a protective order in Greenwich.

    When Is It Possible to Modify a Greenwich Protective Order?

    A protective order aims to ensure that any household members impacted by a defendant’s alleged domestic offense are safe from suffering any further harm between the defendant’s arrest and the conclusion of their criminal case. However, depending on the circumstances, a protective order could substantially restrict a defendant’s rights beyond what their alleged offense logically warrants. Additionally, violating the order’s terms can result in serious criminal consequences. Any defendant in Greenwich who believes their circumstances do not warrant a protective order being imposed against them or that their order should have less restrictive terms can appeal the decision by requesting a “Fernando A. hearing.”

    This hearing takes its name from a case called State of Connecticut v. Fernando A., a 2009 Connecticut Supreme Court. In that case, the Supreme Court’s ruling was that any defendant who has had a protective order imposed against them in response to a domestic violence allegation should have a right to contest the imposition of that order through a subsequent court hearing. This overruled a lower court judge’s denial of the Defendant’s prior request for such a hearing.

    Preparing for a Fernando A. Hearing

    Importantly, the Connecticut Supreme Court also ruled that anyone who wants to appeal a protective order must make their request at the same time as the order goes into effect. This typically takes place during the initial arraignment hearing, where the order is first entered. Furthermore, the original protective order will remain in place until the court-scheduled Fernando A. hearing occurs.

    Fernando A. hearings are full evidentiary hearings, meaning a defendant who requests one can present evidence from various sources—including witness testimony—in support of their position. Likewise, the State may present evidence of its own to support its position that the original protective order had reasonable terms. With this in mind, support from seasoned legal counsel can be crucial to building a comprehensive and compelling case in pursuit of a protective order modification in Greenwich.

    Let a Greenwich Attorney Help with Modifying a Protective Order

    Even if you want to appeal a protective order, it is crucial that you continue to follow the terms of that order while the modification process is ongoing. Violating a protective order is considered a felony offense in Connecticut, potentially punishable by far harsher sanctions than the domestic violence allegation which led to that order being put in place initially.

    When you want to modify a protective order in Greenwich, contacting a knowledgeable attorney from Mark Sherman Law should be your top priority. Call today for a confidential consultation, and click here to visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.