Westport Restraining Order Lawyer
If someone is seeking a restraining order against you or has already had one instituted, understanding your rights and legal obligations is vital to protecting your best interests. Representation from a Westport restraining order lawyer can make a huge difference in dealing with this kind of situation proactively. Reach out to the team at Mark Sherman Law to speak with a capable defense attorney today.
What is the Difference Between a Protective Order and a Restraining Order?
Unlike protective orders, there do not have to be any criminal charges pending against someone for another person to request a restraining order against them. A restraining order can also provide protection to more people than just the person most directly at risk of harm.
Restraining orders also remain in effect much longer than protective orders, which are generally used to bridge the gap between someone’s arrest on suspicion of a domestic violence offense and the conclusion of an ensuing criminal case. Additionally, a court can specify that the applicant will be granted full ownership over specific property or custody over children. They can also impose specific requirements on the person targeted by the order—for example, a requirement to keep paying for utilities or other forms of financial support.
A tenacious Westport attorney can further explain the differences between restraining and protective orders during an initial consultation.
Who Can Get a Restraining Order?
Notably, Connecticut residents are only eligible to seek restraining orders against people with one or more of these relationships with them:
- A current or former spouse;
- A current or former intimate partner;
- A current or former housemate or roommate;
- The co-parent of their child;
- A direct blood relative, such as a parent or child; and/or
- A caretaker for someone 60 years of age or older who also provides shelter to the elderly individual in their care.
A Westport restraining order attorney can represent someone targeted by a restraining order petition and ensure their rights are respected during their court proceedings.
What are the Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order?
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-223b, it is a felony offense for someone to violate a restraining order’s terms if they know such an order has been imposed against them. Importantly, there is no requirement for the violation to be malicious or intentional for it to constitute a crime. Someone can be arrested and prosecuted under this statute even if a protected party asks or demands that they violate the order.
This is a Class D felony under most circumstances, but it can be upgraded to a Class C felony if the defendant threatens, assaults, molests, harasses, or restrains the person or liberty of a protected party. Assistance from a seasoned restraining order attorney in Westport can be vital to understanding how courts usually approach charges like this and to building a strong defense strategy.
Seek Help from a Westport Restraining Order Attorney
Enforcement of restraining orders is something the legal system in Connecticut takes especially seriously, and that goes double for the prosecution of restraining order violations. In both respects, guidance from seasoned legal counsel is important to advocating for your rights.
A conversation with a Westport restraining order lawyer is an excellent first step toward finding the ideal solution for your unique situation. Call Mark Sherman Law today to schedule a meeting, and click here to read what past clients say about working with us.