Darien Protective Order Violations

Violating the terms of a protective order can be counterproductive to a person’s assault or domestic violence case. Not only could that violation be used against the individual during their case they will also face legal consequences for violating a protective order. If an individual wants to know more about Darien protective order violations, they should speak with a knowledgeable attorney who could answer their questions.

Common Ways Protective Orders are Violated

In Darien, the most common ways protective orders are violated is through prohibited contact, which could be a wide range of conduct depending on what protective order is in place. If a full no-contact protective order is put into place with a 100-yard stay-away and a defendant is caught within 100 yards of the protected party, even if they have no actual contact or communication, it is a violation of the protective order. If there is a full no-contact protective order in place and a defendant reaches out to the protected party via any means, including through text message, social media, or a third party, it is also a violation of the protective order. If there is a residential stay-away order in place and the defendant goes to the home of the victim, it is considered a violation of protective order. The prohibited contact depends on what order is put into place. There is a wide range of behavior that could be considered prohibited contact and it does not mean that the protected party needs to necessarily feel in danger because of the contact. The contact just needs to be prohibited in terms of the protective order.

Online Contact as a Breach of a Protective Order

Online contact could constitute the breach of the protective order. It often does and many people do not realize that prior to initiating contact. If there is a no-contact protective order put into place, even reaching out to someone on Facebook could be considered a violation of a protective order, and it does not need to be sending a message. It could be liking someone’s picture on Facebook, which is considered contact and a violation of protective order. It is less common because the state’s attorney or police department might would not view that as threatening behavior, even though it is still technically a violation, it might not lead to an arrest. Other acts online, including any communication, whether it is via email or Twitter, could also be a violation if there is a no-contact order in place.

Behaviors That Constitute Accidental Violation of an Order

Some ordinary behaviors or activities that could accidentally or intentionally result in Darien protective order violations are text-messaging, phone calls, Facebook contact, Instagram contact, Twitter, emailing, sending a message through a third party, or contacting the protected party’s sibling or friend to send a message. This is all ordinary conduct that could be considered a violation and could lead to an arrest. Anything on social media could be a violation of protective order, especially threatening behavior.

If the respondent finds themselves in the restricted proximity of a petitioner, they should remove themselves from the situation immediately. This is not always fair, but it needs to be done to avoid being charged with a violation of a protective order.  It is common for a defendant to be in a place, such as a restaurant, prior to a victim.  In this scenario, the defendant still needs to leave the area regardless of the fact that they were there first.

Elements of Protective Orders

Below are two elements of protective orders that if ignored, would constitute Darien protective order violations.

Restraining the Defendant from Entering a Premises:

A judge could restrain a defendant from entering a premises in any protective order. It would not be a breach of an element of a protective order because there is a protective order that stops a defendant from being able to go to a protected party’s home. A judge could also write onto a protective order provision that stops them from going to any place, regardless of where it is.

Restraining the Defendant from Having Contact with the Plaintiff:

Restraining the defendant from having contact with the victim is common. A full no-contact order is the most common protective order, which can stop any contact whatsoever between the parties. Darien courts interpret contact as any physical or communicative contact. The parties could not see one another or be in proximity with one another. They also could not communicate with one another, even if they are trying to rebuild their relationship.

Penalties for Violating a Darien Protective Order

The penalties for Darien protective order violations vary. A criminal violation of a protective order is a Class C or D felony. The class of the felony depends on the nature of the violation. A Class C felony, which is the highest level a person could get charged with, would be if a person harassed and assaulted, sexually assaulted, or attacked another person. A Class D felony of violation of a protection of order is when the parties have prohibited contact, but the petitioner is not injured or physically harmed because of the contact. Most criminal violations of protective orders that are Class D felonies are communications that are prohibited or visiting a home without being allowed to be there. They are not threatening action towards the petitioner.

The degree of the violation affects the penalty. Class C and Class D felonies are punished differently. All violations are not prosecuted with the same penalty. If a defendant is charged with a violation of the protective order that entails injuring the petitioner in any way or assaulting them, following them, or threatening them, they are facing higher penalties. If an individual wants to know more, they should consult an attorney that could answer their questions and mitigate the severity of the penalties that they may face.

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