Conditions of Release After a Connecticut Domestic Violence Arrest
Once you are arrested and booked for a Connecticut domestic violence crime, or after you have been given a Connecticut domestic violence summons ticket to appear in court, the police may require you to sign and agree to certain “Conditions of Release” before you are released from police custody.
Conditions of release are intended to ensure the safety of the accuser (also called the alleged victim) prior to the restraining order hearing that takes place at your first Connecticut domestic violence court date which occurs on the next business morning.
The time between your arrest and your first court date is usually very brief—usually just one or two days (unlike New York City, where the criminal courts are open on the weekend.)
Then, once you appear in Connecticut court for your first domestic violence court appearance, the judge will issue a restraining order and possibly order new conditions of release such as anger management counseling, no alcohol consumption, random urine testing, and drug and alcohol counseling.
Typical Conditions of Release
During your arrest for a Connecticut domestic violence crime in Connecticut, a police officer can essentially issue any condition of release that they deem reasonable and appropriate, without you having a chance to argue or be heard.
These conditions are temporary until your restraining order hearing where you and your Connecticut criminal lawyer will have a chance to argue against these conditions.
Typical conditions of release in domestic violence crimes revolve around two things: 1) your contact and communications with the accuser / victim, and 2) your mental and physical health.
In moderate to serious Connecticut domestic violence arrests, conditions may include being ordered by the police to not have any kind of contact whatsoever with the accuser / victim.
Alternatively, the court may permit contact, but forbid you from entering the home of the accuser / victim, even if you own the house, pay the rent, or pay the mortgage! Other conditions could restrict visitation or contact with your own children, forbid you from consuming alcohol, forbid you from leaving the state, or forbid you from possessing a firearm.
As far as mental health conditions go, a court may order conditions such as drug counseling, alcohol counseling, anger management counseling, and random drug testing.
Violating These Conditions
Any violation can cause you to get arrested in Connecticut for the crime of Violation of Conditions of Release. This charge is separate from your underlying domestic violence arrest and will carry a whole new set of penalties.
Depending on the allegations, this crime can be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor, which means an arrest in Connecticut for Violation of Conditions of Release can carry up to five years in jail in certain cases.
Note that this charge is separate and distinct from an arrest in Connecticut for Violation of a Criminal Protective Order under CGS 53a-223b.
Fighting This Violation
If you are arrested for Violation of Conditions of Release, then your top Connecticut domestic violence lawyer should start building your defense by examining all of the evidence, including any verbal or electronic communications made by the accuser, any police reports documenting the violations, and carefully looking over all surveillance evidence, emails, text messages, and phone records that may be relevant to the alleged violation.
Your lawyer should also consider whether you were clearly put on notice by the judge or a translator—in your native language—of your conditions of your release.
The reason this is important is because in order to be convicted of violating conditions of release, your violation must be intentional. It is not enough to accidentally violate the conditions.
Modifying Conditions of Release
Your conditions of release terminate and expire upon the earlier of two events: 1) the dismissal or nolle of your Connecticut domestic violence criminal case, or (2) an order from a domestic violence judge that modifies or terminates the conditions of release.
If you are interested in making a motion to modify or terminate any condition of release in your Connecticut domestic violence arrest, then you should contact anattorney right away.
A motion to modify a condition of release is challenging, as the motion is usually reviewed by the judge, prosecutor, bail commissioner, family relations officer, and victim (or victim’s attorney).
Therefore you should make sure you and your Connecticut domestic violence lawyer make the strongest legal and factual arguments for modification or termination of the conditions of release at issue.
Contacting a Lawyer
As you can see, domestic violence cases can get quite complicated when conditions are imposed upon you, that if violated, can result in additional domestic violence arrests.
The Connecticut domestic violence attorneys at our firm have years of experience in litigating these conditions of release, modifying them, and terminating them when they are getting out of hand.
We also are skilled in fighting wrongful arrests for bogus Violation of Conditions of Release arrests that are brought against our clients.
So if you have been arrested for Violation of Conditions of Release, call us today to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.