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    Modifying a Protective Order in Ridgefield

    Even if the terms included in your protective order are extremely disruptive to your daily life, violating those terms for any reason could be prosecuted as a felony offense completely separate from your underlying family violence charge. With that in mind, knowing what goes into modifying a protective order in Ridgefield is crucial to enforcing your rights.

    When Can Someone Request a Protective Order Modification?

    One essential thing to know about seeking a modification to a protective order in Ridgefield—or, to use the commonly used parlance, requesting a “Fernando A.” hearing—is that defendants have an extremely small window of time in which to formally request such a hearing. More specifically, if a defendant does not request this hearing during their initial arraignment, the court will generally take that as confirmation that the defendant has waived their right to request a modification. The arraignment for any domestic violence case typically occurs the next business day after the defendant’s arrest.

    Additionally, seeking a protective order modification takes more than asking the judge for a Fernando A. hearing during the arraignment. There is an established process to go through that involves submitting a motion in writing to the court and jumping through a few other procedural hoops, all of which our seasoned legal professionals can provide vital assistance accomplishing.

    Preparing for a Fernando A. Hearing

    If the defendant in a Ridgefield domestic violence case does everything they need to do to properly request a Fernando A. hearing for any protective order the court imposes against them, the court will schedule that hearing to take place fairly quickly after the defendant’s initial arraignment. This is usually within two weeks.

    A Fernando A. hearing works similarly to a criminal trial in the sense that both sides—the defendant seeking the modification and state authorities defending the existing protective order—will have opportunities to present evidence, call witnesses, and even subpoena other people to get information which may support their side of the argument.

    If the court sides with the defendant, the judge can grant a modification to their protective order that will go into effect at the conclusion of the hearing. If the court denies the defendant’s motion, it is sometimes possible to reapply for a modification later in the progression of their case.

    It is worth reiterating, though, that any violation of the terms of an existing protective order before a judge grants a motion for modification and formally modifies the order is just as illegal as a violation outside of this process. A qualified legal professional can go into further detail about exactly what to expect from each stage of a protective order modification hearing in more detail during a private consultation.

    Talk To a Ridgefield Attorney About Modifying a Protective Order

    While you have the right to request a change to a protective order you believe is unduly harsh, exercising that right is far from a simple process, even if you have substantial evidence supporting your request.

    When it comes to successfully modifying a protective order in Ridgefield, there is no substitute for representation from a seasoned domestic violence attorney with experience fighting—and winning—on behalf of people in your situation. Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to set up a confidential consultation, and click here to read what some of our previous clients have said about working with our team.