Connecticut Harassment Lawyer
It can be easy to get arrested for harassment in Connecticut. The statute covers a wide range of conduct that involves causing alarm or annoyance to someone, usually through telephone contact, texting, or emailing. Frequently, Connecticut arrests arise in domestic violence cases. Spouses and loved ones often take their fights and dispute “virtual”—going back and forth via profanity-laced text messaging, email, and Facebook messaging, to a point where one spouse may actually feel threatened and call the cops to get their spouse or loved one arrested.
If you are arrested in Connecticut for harassment in the second degree, a Connecticut harassment lawyer can help to possibly get your arrest dismissed in domestic violence courts, as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
A Connecticut harassment arrest can be charged in two degrees, depending on the intensity of the alleged harassment. Harassment in the second degree is codified in CGS 53a-183 and lists three scenarios that give rise to a harassment arrest:
- using obscene or indecent language over the telephone
- contacting someone through fax, e-mail, letters, Twitter or Facebook in a manner that is likely to cause alarm or annoyance to the recipient
- calling a person—usually repeatedly—in a way that is likely to alarm or annoy them
Under this last set of circumstances, someone does not need to actually engage in a conversation to get arrested in Connecticut for harassment in the second degree. It is enough that they call someone and hang up on them repeatedly, with the intention of harassing, annoying, or alarming them.
As a Class C misdemeanor, a harassment conviction carries up to 90 days of jail time, a $500 fine, and probation.
Arraignment and Protective Order Hearings
At a first court date (called the “arraignment”) for an arrest for harassment in the second degree, someone should expect a few critical events to take place. In domestic violence courts, they will first be required to speak to a Family Relations Officer. Next, a judge will conduct a criminal protective/restraining order hearing, which can sometimes result in severe restraining orders being issued.
What is most distressing about these domestic violence protective orders is that if someone violates any of the conditions of a Connecticut criminal protective restraining order (even by sending an accidental email or text message), they can be arrested in Connecticut for violation of a criminal protective order. This is a Class D Felony, which carries up to five years in prison and a $5000 fine.
Conditions of Release
In addition to issuing a Connecticut domestic violence restraining order, the judge may also order additional conditions of release upon someone, such as a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet on the person (to keep them away from their accuser), ordering a mental health evaluation, requiring mental health counseling, or compelling random drug and alcohol testing. These conditions can last for their entire criminal case, so it is critical that their Connecticut harassment attorney presents aggressive legal arguments against these conditions and restrictions at their domestic violence restraining order hearing.
A violation of any of these conditions can result in an arrest for Violation of Conditions of Release. Penalties for violating conditions of release can result in up to five years of additional prison time.
Fighting An Arrest
A Connecticut arrest for harassment usually involves accusations of harassment taking place over digital or electronic communications. The best harassment lawyers in Connecticut should closely scrutinize the allegations and take the arresting officers to task by finding out if:
- Phone calls or text messages sent from their client were actually from their phone or computer
- The messages were truly threatening or intended to harass, annoy, or alarm
- The messages or phone calls were maybe sent in response to the accuser’s messages or emails
- The accuser lied to or was being dishonest with the police
- The accuser’s social media messages were at all helpful to the case
A skilled lawyer should not only answer these questions but should also closely analyze and question police reports, witness statements, phone records, text logs and any other electronic communications mentioned in the police reports, whether sent through e-mail or social media.
Contacting a Connecticut Harassment Attorney
Connecticut harassment lawyers know that harassment arrests in Connecticut can affect your family life, your employment, and your reputation. This is why their main goal is to get your harassment arrest dismissed, along with any accompanying restraining order, as quickly as possible.
They are not afraid to push back against aggressive state prosecutors, so long as it is in your best interest. If you are arrested in Connecticut for harassment, contact a domestic violence criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
Title: Skilled and Efficient
By: A. Client
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