Weston Disorderly Conduct Court Process
No matter what circumstances led to you being arrested on Disorderly Conduct charges in Connecticut, knowing in advance what to expect from your upcoming court proceedings can be extremely helpful when preparing to defend your rights during those proceedings. Here is a brief overview of the Weston Disorderly Conduct court process, all of which a seasoned defense attorney could provide crucial help with effectively navigating.
Initial Procedures After a Disorderly Conduct Arrest
One important thing to understand about the court process for Disorderly Conduct charges in Weston is that even if someone is not taken into police custody and is only issued a written citation, they have still been “arrested” in the eyes of Connecticut court authorities. This means they will still have to appear in court to answer the charge(s) against them. Typically, the first court hearing in the criminal process—generally referred to as the arraignment—will occur on the date indicated on a written citation or on the next business day if the defendant was detained following their arrest.
During arraignment, the judge will inform the defendant of their rights and require them to enter a plea of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “nolo contendere,” the last of which means that the defendant accepts that they will be convicted of a crime but does not formally admit guilt of that offense. The judge may also set a bond the defendant must pay to be released from jail until their case ends. However, since Disorderly Conduct is a Class C misdemeanor offense in Connecticut, judges virtually always allow defendants to be released on their own recognizance, provided they promise in writing to attend all subsequent court dates.
Depending on the circumstances, the defendant’s legal counsel may be able to discuss a possible plea bargain or alternative to criminal sentencing prior to your case being placed on the trial list. If no such agreement is reached, the final step in the court process is a criminal trial to determine whether the defendant is guilty of Disorderly Conduct, which the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
What Changes with a “Family Violence” Disorderly Conduct Charge?
For the most part, the order of operations for the Weston Disorderly Conduct court process does not change if the offense in question is considered a crime of “family violence.” However, the process as a whole typically tends to move much more quickly with these types of offenses, generally in the interest of preventing further harm to anyone allegedly impacted by the defendant’s conduct.
Additionally, the judge presiding over arraignment may impose a protective order against the defendant, which would last for the duration of their criminal trial. At the court’s discretion, this order could simply prohibit any further Disorderly Conduct or family violence by the defendant. In other instances, it could substantially restrict where they can go or even where they live. Either way, a violation of such an order’s terms, even by accident, is punishable as a felony-level criminal offense separate from the underlying Disorderly Conduct charge.
Let a Weston Attorney Explain the Disorderly Conduct Court Process
Even though Disorderly Conduct is categorized as a minor misdemeanor in the Connecticut Penal Code, that does not mean you should take these criminal proceedings lightly. If you have any questions or concerns about the Weston Disorderly Conduct court process and how you should handle it in your situation, our capable team can provide the guidance and support you may need. Call Mark Sherman Law today for a consultation, and click here to read what our previous clients have said about working with us.