Fairfield Protective Order Hearings
If you are able to do so, retaining a domestic violence lawyer before your Fairfield protective order hearing can be a huge help to your case. Top legal representation can make sure your rights are upheld and work to secure an arrangement that does not infringe on your personal and professional best interests. Discuss your options with a protective order lawyer today.
What Is the Role of the Family Relations Officer?
The first step of any protective order hearing in Fairfield is reporting to the Office of Family Relations no later than 9:30 AM on the day of the hearing. Everyone who is scheduled to appear before the Connecticut Superior Court later in the day must check in with a Family Relations Officer before their hearing begins.
Is Meeting with a Family Relation Officer Required?
A defendant facing domestic violence allegations may opt to participate in an interview with their Family Relation Officer at this time, during which the officer would compile a safety assessment based on their understanding of the situation, interviews with alleged victims, and on statements made by the defendant during the interview. This assessment would then be passed on to the judge overseeing the protective order hearing, who may factor it into any decisions they make regarding the protective order they order.
Is What People Admit to Family Relations Kept in Confidence?
Anything a defendant says in front of their Family Relations Officer—including potentially incriminating information—can be used against them in their hearing, and the officer’s testimony has a great deal of influence on how protective order hearings play out. Accordingly, it is usually important for defendants to have legal counsel serve as a mitigating voice on their behalf during both the Family Relations Officer interview and the hearing to follow.
What Should I Expect from the Hearing Itself?
A few hours after a defendant checks in with their Family Relations Officer and potentially participates in an interview, their protective order hearing will commence. This hearing will involve testimony from the Family Relations Officer, the State’s Attorney representing the prosecution, the Bail Commissioner, and usually legal counsel representing both involved parties.
How Does Testimony Impact a Protective Order Hearing?
Based on testimony, as well as on various forms of documentary evidence such as police reports and social worker recommendations, the judge overseeing the hearing may institute a number of different levels of protective orders. Mild incidents may result only in a partial or limited order that prohibits additional harassment of the alleged victim, but more serious incidents may lead the judge to institute a “residential stay-away” order that requires the defendant to move out of any residence they share with their alleged victim.
Are Full No-Contact Orders Serious?
The most severe outcome a Fairfield protective order hearing can have is a full no-contact order, which prevents the defendant from having any contact whatsoever with their alleged victim, and sometimes any children they share as well. This type of order is something a qualified legal representative can work to prevent if retained in time for this initial hearing.
An Attorney Can Help Prepare You for a Protective Order Hearing in Fairfield
As soon as you find out you are scheduled to appear in court for a protective order hearing in Fairfield, contacting a domestic violence lawyer should be your top priority. Call Mark Sherman Law today to set up a consultation and start working on your case.