Greenwich Violation of Protective Order Lawyer
The courts in Connecticut will issue some form of protective order in almost every case involving, or suspected to involve, family violence. Regardless of the charge that formed the basis for the arrest—which is often a misdemeanor—violating the terms of a protective order is a felony with serious consequences. A Greenwich lawyer who specializes in violations of these protective orders can help you resolve the charge in the most favorable manner the circumstances allow.
Types of Protective Orders
Anyone arrested on family violence charges must attend an arraignment on the next business day. A Family Services Officer will conduct an interview to explore the accused’s relationships within their family. After the interview, the Family Services Officer will recommend the type of criminal protective order the judge should issue in the case. These orders are temporary, but they remain in effect for the duration of the criminal case, which could be months.
If the accused is not perceived to pose a threat, the court might issue a partial protective order demanding the accused not to harass or assault the alleged victim or accuser. In cases where the Family Services Officer has concerns, a court could order a residential stay-away order, barring the accused from entering the accuser’s home, workplace, or any other setting where that individual will be. If the parties live together, a residential stay-away order can produce significant hardship and force the accused to leave their home.
The most intensive protective order is a full no-contact order. The accused may not have contact with the accuser in person, on the telephone, via text, social media, or through third parties. It is crucial for someone subject to a criminal protective order to discuss it with a Greenwich attorney to ensure they understand its provisions to avoid inadvertently violating them.
Violating a Protective Order is a Felony
Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-223 makes it a crime to violate a protective order. A violation is a Class D felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Protective order violations sometimes occur when the protected party initiates contact with the person subject to the order. For example, if an adult child was arrested for assault on their parent, the court might issue a protective order directing the adult child to refrain from contact with the parent until the case’s conclusion. If the parent later begins calling or texting and the child responds, the child is in violation of the protective order. An accused must obey a protective order until a judge lifts or amends it.
A savvy Greenwich attorney can request a “Fernando A. hearing” at the arraignment of the person being accused of violating their protective order. This hearing allows the accused to present evidence demonstrating that the protective order is not necessary. If the prosecution cannot prove that the order is necessary, a court could lift the order.
Defending Charges of Violating a Protective Order
Prosecutors and courts take violations of these protective orders seriously, and a person facing these allegations should contact a Greenwich attorney immediately.
Individuals often face charges for violating a protective order when the communication was not harassing or threatening. If the communication was benign, a court might view it less harshly. Similarly, if the complainant initiated the communication, a court might consider whether the complainant lured the accused into violating the order.
Sometimes a person who violated an order could settle the charge by agreeing to community service, a family violence prevention program called the Family Violence Education Program, counseling, or a similar resolution. Courts rarely sentence violators to jail unless they engage in harassing communications, physical threats, or violence.
Work With a Greenwich Violation of Protective Order Attorney
Complying with a protective order could be expensive, inconvenient, and burdensome. However, you must comply with the order until the court lifts it or your underlying family violence case resolves.
A Greenwich violation of protective order lawyer can ensure you understand the order’s terms and provide skilled representation if you face charges for violating the order. Call today to speak with a seasoned attorney from the Law Offices of Mark Sherman, and click here to read what our past clients have to say about working with us.