Violating a Restraining Order or Protective Order in Norwalk
It is important for a person to understand and abide by the provisions outlined in a protective order or restraining order in Norwalk because if they violate any of the provisions of the protective order, they can be arrested and charged with a violation of a criminal protective order or a violation of a civil restraining order, which will be either be a Class D or C felony.
If the person who ordered a restraining order thinks that the person has violated it, they should call the police and report it. If an individual is accused of violating their restraining order or protective in Norwalk, it is important for them to contact a skilled domestic violence lawyer who can help them combat any potential repercussions.
What is a Protective Order?
Protective orders can be issued in a number of situations. After a domestic violence arrest, on application by a person in the civil court against a person who they allege has harassed them, or on application by a person in family court against a family or household member the court can issue a protective order with whatever measures they find fit. To learn more about the different protective orders, click here.
If a person is arrested and charged with the crime of violating a Norwalk protective order or a civil restraining order, they will be charged with that crime, but then that person would have every right available to them that any person charged with a crime would have, which is the right to have a trial by a jury or judge to decide whether the person is actually guilty or innocent.
If the person is convicted and if the person is found guilty by a jury or judge, then they would face some penalties. The penalties would be potential imprisonment, fines, a term of probation, or any combination of those three, but in addition to that, there may be a standing criminal protective order that is entered in order to continue prohibiting certain forms of contact between the defendant and the victim of the case.
Commitment of Another Crime
If the person in the course of violating a protective order or restraining order in Norwalk commits a separate crime then they will be charged with that separate crime. For example, if somebody were to be having a no contact protective order in place and if that defendant were to then unlawfully restrain or assault the victim, then that person would be not only charged with violation of a crime of criminal protective order but also charged with either the crime of assault or unlawful restraint and they can be prosecuted on both of those charges and punished on both of those charges, and it would expose the person to an additional term of imprisonment, additional fines, and additional terms of probation.
The other part of it though is that, if somebody commits a violation of a protective order, and the way that they violate the protective order is through an assault or another form of physical violence, then it raises the level of the crime from a Class D felony to a Class C felony, so that would also expose the person to harsher penalties in and of itself.
How Does The Prosecution Prove a Protective Order Has Been Violated?
To convict someone of a Norwalk protective order violation, the prosecution must prove that the defendant actually did something prohibited by the explicit terms of their order, and that they intentionally and knowingly did so. For example, someone subject to a no-contact protective order could be arrested and charged with a crime if they try to speak with the protected party in person, call them over the phone, send them an electronic message, or communicate directly in any other way.
Importantly, under C.G.S. §53a-223(b), a protected party cannot be charged with violating a protective order or facilitating a violation. In other words, even if the protected party is the one who seeks out contact with the subject of a protective order, the latter party could still be charged with a crime if they reciprocate contact in violation of the order’s terms.
It is always difficult to try to prove a negative but often times, there may be ways to show that there was no contact or there was no action or behavior that constituted a violation of a particular condition. The evidence that will be explored by the attorney and the person charged with the crime will consist of things like text messages, emails, phone records, credit card records, videos, and anything that would help show circumstances that are consistent with the defendant’s version of events or that are inconsistent with the claims made by the victim in a particular instance or case.
What Happens If I am Convicted?
C.G.S. §53a-223 classifies the violation of a protective order in Norwalk as either as a class D felony or a class C felony, depending on what specific actions the perpetrator allegedly took. The basic form of this charge is a class D felony, but if the defendant threatened the protected party, assaulted or molested them, restrained them, or did anything else to infringe upon their liberty, the offense is elevated to a class C felony.
For a conviction, you could be facing lengthy jail time, a hefty fine, and probation. Because this is a felony offense, a conviction will also result in the loss of various civil rights, including the right to legally own firearms and the right to vote.
Contacting an Attorney
If someone is accused of violating their restraining order or protective order in Norwalk, they should contact a domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. The reason that they should is that they will be facing a serious level of crime and it is important to make sure that things stay contained to what they are, they do not get worse, that the person does not do anything to either exacerbate the situation or get new charges because they do not understand the specific requirements and prohibitions against them as part of the restraining order or protective order. The defense attorney will help the person understand what their rights are, what their responsibilities are, help them gather any kind of evidence that is necessary to help prepare a defense, and also identify certain services that they may want to engage and they can help mitigate any punishment that they may be facing. Head over to Avvo.com to read why over 300 clients have given us a 5-star rating. To protect your future and your reputation, call today to schedule a consultation.