Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Norwalk
Disorderly conduct penalties in Norwalk could be severe if the offense is classified as an act of domestic violence. Assistance from an experienced disorderly conduct attorney may be critical to avoiding a negative outcome and mitigating your odds of facing consequences in criminal or family court.
Penalties for a Disorderly Conduct Criminal Conviction
Connecticut General Statutes §53a-182 provides seven different answers to the question of what constitutes a disorderly conduct offense, but the most important is the one codified in C.G.S. §53a-182(a)(2). This particular part of the statute allows law enforcement to charge someone with disorderly conduct if they interfere with or annoy another person through “offensive or disorderly conduct”—a descriptor which unfortunately can be applied to just about any action a police officer wants it to.
Since disorderly conduct is a class C misdemeanor offense, the maximum penalties a Norwalk resident could face upon conviction are thankfully not terribly severe. At most, a defendant may be sentenced to pay a $500 fine and serve a three-month sentence in county jail, but these sanctions are rarely pursued for first-time offenders. However, a misdemeanor conviction will remain on a convicted person’s criminal record for years to come, so the potential impact that conviction could have on their occupational and residential options should not be overlooked.
The Difference a Domestic Violence Designation Could Make
If a disorderly conduct offense is considered to be domestic violence—meaning that the alleged victim was a family member, spouse, domestic partner, or member of the same household as the alleged perpetrator—Connecticut state law does not allow for any additional criminal penalties upon conviction. However, classifying disorderly conduct as domestic violence could result in severe consequences outside of criminal court that, in certain cases, may be far worse for a defendant than a one-time fine.
Any criminal allegation of domestic violence in Connecticut is almost always followed immediately by the issuance of a protective order by the judge who oversees the defendant’s arraignment hearing. This order—which may require the defendant to move out of any residence they share with their alleged victim or cut off all communication with them—lasts until the defendant’s criminal court case concludes, at which point it may be replaced by a standing criminal protective order if that case ends with a conviction.
In addition, if the Connecticut Department of Children and Families suspects that a person accused of domestic violence disorderly conduct is a danger to their children, they may undertake a lengthy investigation into the defendant’s home life and their behavior around their kinds. Depending on how this investigation proceeds, the worst penalty associated with disorderly conduct in Norwalk may be the loss of custody and visitation rights.
Work with a Norwalk Attorney to Mitigate Disorderly Conduct Penalties
If you are accused of domestic violence disorderly conduct, guidance from a local lawyer is the best way to both understand the penalties and successfully combat them in court. Read our certified reviews from prior clients on Avvo.com by following this link. To discuss disorderly conduct penalties in Norwalk and your legal options, call to speak to a dedicated attorney at Mark Sherman Law.