Social Media Violations of Connecticut Protective Orders

With mobile devices revolutionizing how we communicate, criminal lawyers are seeing arrests for violations of protective orders and restraining orders based solely on email, text and social media messaging and communications, even when such communications are not threatening or harassing, but are mere “technical” violations of Connecticut domestic violence court protective / restraining orders.

As a result, if you have been arrested for Violation of a Criminal Protective Order, or you have a restraining order / protective order foisted on you by the domestic violence courts, then you should consult an attorney to make sure you don’t violate these orders, don’t commit a technical violation, and fight your 53a-223 Violation of Protective Order arrest to a quick dismissal.

Communication That Can Lead to a Violation

Typically there are three types of criminal protective orders issues in domestic violence court: (1) Full No Contact Orders prohibiting any kind of verbal, written or electronic contact, (2) Full Residential Stay-Away Orders which allow contact but forbid you from entering the home of the protected person, and (3) Partial or Limited Protective Orders which allow contact and cohabitation, but outlaw threats, intimidation or harassment.

What veteran lawyers often see are alleged “victims” use these domestic violence protective orders to bait their clients into violating them, consequently getting them arrested for the felony charge of Violation of Criminal Protective Order under C.G.S. 53a-223. These “victims” know their spouse or significant other is not allowed to text or email them for any reason, but they will nevertheless entrap them into violating them, by emailing them about their kids, visitation, or emotionally charged issues going on in the relationship, making it almost impossible for you NOT to respond.

If it’s a “Partial” protective restraining order, we have seen cases where the protected person will be verbally abusive and aggressive with you, hoping that you will snap back with verbally abusive language. As soon as you reply, they will then run right over to the police department to try and get you arrested again for violating the Partial / Limited protective order. Appreciate it’s a one-way street here—and the playing field is NOT level.

The victims are not prohibited by the domestic violence court from harassing you or instigating / escalating your emotions. And in some cases, the victims have been coached by their high-priced Connecticut divorce lawyers to try and further entrap you to get you arrested so they can use your felony arrest against you in divorce court and related child custody proceedings.

So the bottom line is…be super-vigilant about complying with the terms and conditions of your Connecticut protective order and Connecticut restraining order. And make sure all of your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest messaging applications are not automatically distributing messages and photos to the protected persons listed in your Connecticut restraining order. The defense of “the message was sent to all of my Facebook friends” is not good enough to stop you from getting arrested.

Fighting Your Violation

While we have frequently discussed fighting these arrests under 53a-223, a threshold issue in protective order violation arrests which involve social media and electronic communications is preservation of digital evidence. Top Connecticut criminal lawyers who regularly fight Violation of Protective Order arrests know that preservation of evidence motions should be filed with the domestic violence court as soon as possible, before the digital evidence can be destroyed or overwritten. Especially when the “victim” has used social or digital media to entrap you or set you up for a manufactured arrest in Connecticut for Violation of a Criminal Protective Order.

Further, and what many domestic violence criminal lawyers could explain, a “Fernando A. Hearing” can be requested at the very beginning of your criminal case, which will require your accuser to take the witness stand and will enable your top Connecticut criminal law firm the legal right to subpoena digital evidence from Facebook, Google and even your accuser’s cell phone records and emails at work. It is a heavy-handed defense strategy that gets results, so ask your Connecticut criminal law firm whether demanding a “Fernando A. Hearing” to modify or terminate your domestic violence restraining order is a viable option for your case.

Importance of Legal Representation

Getting a felony arrest for a Violation of a Criminal Protective Order or Civil Restraining Order for a mere and inadvertent Facebook, text, or email message is absolutely absurd. An arrest like this needs to be dealt with swiftly and severely, and if your accuser has manipulated law enforcement and the criminal justice system to get you arrested, then there must be further accountability measures taken against your accuser in court.

So if you have been arrested for Violation of a Criminal Protective Order then contact a lawyer today. We work quickly and cost-effectively with one goal in mind—getting your felony Violation of Protective / Restraining Order arrest dismissed and expunged. Call us today at (203) 276-9443.

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