New Canaan Protective Order Violations
Complying with the restrictions of a protective order issued by a Connecticut Court can be difficult for New Canaan residents, and violation of terms can result in an additional felony charge. A top New Canaan protective order attorney could help you understand your terms, prevent violations, and advocate for your interests.
When do Courts Issue Protective Orders in New Canaan?
Judges often impose protective orders following a criminal arrest in a domestic violence situation under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §46b-38c(e). These orders known as “criminal protective orders” are generally issued at the time of arraignment, which is the person’s first appearance before the judge. These orders prohibit the accused from harassing or abusing the alleged victims of the domestic violence offense and they can remain in place until the end of the case.
What Restrictions can a Protective Order Include?
There are multiple levels of criminal protective orders known as partial orders, residential stay away orders, and full-no contact orders. To learn more about the various categories, click here.
Protective orders typically prevent not only direct contact with the protected persons but also indirect contact. In other words, individuals cannot contact the protected persons by using a third person as an intermediary.
Only judges can change or terminate protective orders. A skilled New Canaan protective order lawyer can move the court for modification of your protective order.
How does One Violate a Protective Order?
It is important to know and understand the parameters of your protective order. If you are under a “full no-contact” order, and you call the protected party it is a violation. If you are under a “residential stay-away” order, and you show up to the protected person’s house it is a violation. Under C.G.S. §53a-223, it is not a defense to a protective order violation charge that you did not know the restrictions imposed. Furthermore, if you are subject to an order that prohibits all contact with the protected party and they initiate contact, you still may not respond. Doing so would constitute a violation and you can be charged with an additional felony.
What are the Penalties for Violating a Protective Order?
Violation of a protective order is often a Class D felony, but the charge can increase to a Class C felony if restraint, threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting, sexually assaulting, or attacking the protected party is involved. See C.G.S. §53a-223 and §53a-223(c).
A conviction for a Class D felony, which means you plead guilty or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, is punishable by up to five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000. For a Class C felony conviction, the potential prison sentence ranges from one to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000.
A felony conviction is also likely to cause significant collateral consequences that disrupt someone’s life on both a professional and personal basis. For example, individuals convicted of a felony or who are subject to a protective order may not possess firearms under state or federal law. See C.G.S. §29-36k and 18 U.S.C. §922(d)(8).
Let a New Canaan Attorney Help with Your Protective Order Violation Case
Even if your underlying crime is a misdemeanor, a conviction for violation of a protective order will leave you with a felony record. Legal counsel can help advocate for your rights, move to modify a protective order, and make sure you understand the parameters of it. To learn more about New Canaan protective order violations and how a lawyer could help in your situation, call Mark Sherman Law today.