Violation of a Protective Order in New Canaan
Once a court puts a protective order in place against you in response to an alleged domestic violence offense, it will remain in effect until a subsequent court order modifies or revokes it. Any breach of that order can have harsh criminal consequences—often even more severe than the penalties for the charge which prompted the order in the first place. When you stand accused of violating a protective order in New Canaan, it is vital that you seek representation from experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible.
What Counts as a Protective Order Violation?
Many criminal offenses defined under the Connecticut Penal Code have several components which must all be present for someone charged with the offense to be convicted in court. However, violating a protective order in New Canaan is not one of them. According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-223, anyone who fails to adhere to the terms of a protective order may be charged with a felony-level offense, regardless of what alleged underlying crime led to the protective order being put in place.
It is worth emphasizing that the law does not distinguish between intentional and inadvertent violations of protective orders. This means that someone who accidentally breaks a no-contact or residential stay-away order is just as likely to face criminal charges as someone who does so intentionally. Furthermore, the statute above explicitly states that protected parties cannot be held criminally liable for requesting, commanding, knowingly helping, or even tricking someone into violating a protective order.
Possible Consequences of a Protective Order Violation
Most of the time, someone who is convicted of violating a protective order in New Canaan or elsewhere in Connecticut will face criminal penalties commensurate with a Class D felony. This means that the maximum sanctions on the table could include up to five years imprisonment or $5,000 in fines, plus a lengthy term of probation after their release from incarceration.
However, when someone violates a protective order by restraining a protected party’s “person or liberty” or by threatening, harassing, assaulting, or attacking a protected party, their offense becomes a Class C felony. This means the court may impose a minimum of one year in prison up to a maximum of ten years and $10,000 in fines upon a convicted individual. In both scenarios, these penalties would be applied in addition to any penalties the defendant might face upon conviction for their underlying domestic violence offense.
Seek Help from a New Canaan Attorney with a Protective Order Violation Charge
Courts in Connecticut take domestic violence accusations seriously, and accordingly, they enforce protective orders strictly. Even a completely unintentional violation of a protective order’s terms could have life-altering repercussions for you, especially when you try to fight this new charge without capable legal representation on your side.
A charge for violating of a protective order in New Canaan is much easier to handle with a knowledgeable attorney’s help. Call Mark Sherman Law today to learn more, and click here to read over 300 certified reviews from past clients on our Avvo profile.