Modifying a Protective Order in Weston
Even if the alleged family violence offense leading to the imposition of a protective order is classified as only a misdemeanor, any intentional or accidental violation of that order’s terms could lead to you facing felony-level consequences, including a substantial prison term. With that in mind, it can be helpful to know in advance what the process for modifying a protective order in Weston looks like. If you wish to seek such a modification, there is no substitute for assistance from an experienced defense attorney.
When Is It Possible to Request a Protective Order Modification?
Generally, a domestic violence protective order issued by a court in Connecticut will remain in effect until the end of the defendant’s criminal case unless the court dismisses the charges against the defendant or the prosecution decides to drop the charges. A protective order can also be modified before your case concludes, however, if the defendant requests a “Fernando A.” hearing, which is a rough equivalent of a criminal appeal for a protective order.
Defendants must request a Fernando A. hearing–or “preserve their Fernando A. rights”–during their initial arraignment hearing, typically occurring the next business day after their arrest. Additionally, to make this request in a legally valid way, after such arraignment the defendant must submit a formal motion to the criminal court clerk and provide copies of that request to the court’s Family Relations Office, Prosecutor, and Victim Advocate. Seasoned legal counsel could provide vital assistance with accomplishing these tasks promptly and effectively.
Preparing for a Fernando A. Hearing in Weston
If the court accepts a domestic violence defendant’s motion for a Fernando A. hearing, they will generally schedule that hearing to take place within two weeks of the defendant’s arraignment. During that period of time, it is crucial for the defendant to make contact with various court authorities involved in the case as well as advocates for the parties allegedly affected by the defendant’s conduct. This includes the Family Relations Officer, who interviewed the defendant at least once prior to their arraignment.
It can also be important for defendants to gather people willing to testify on their behalf during their hearing, such as other family members, psychologists, and therapists. This can help establish that the originally proposed terms for a protective order are not/no longer appropriate or necessary in light of the defendant’s personal history and the circumstances leading up to their arrest. If the court then decides, based on all presented evidence, to grant the defendant’s motion for modification, that modification can go into effect the same day.
Talk to a Weston Attorney About Modifying a Protective Order
Changing the terms of a protective order issued by a Connecticut court is far from a simple process. Waiting even a few extra days before taking the required steps could leave you with no choice but to deal with whatever terms the court sees fit to impose on you for the duration of your criminal proceedings.
Fortunately, a qualified attorney from Mark Sherman Law can take the lead in modifying your protective order in Weston to ensure your rights are protected and that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Call today to discuss your options, and click here to read our certified reviews from past clients.