Technical Violations of Connecticut Criminal Protective Orders

Some of the most common arrests in Connecticut domestic violence courts are for technical violations of criminal protective orders and civil restraining orders. As Connecticut criminal lawyers would confirm, a Connecticut “Full No Contact” criminal protective order, or Connecticut Full No Contact civil restraining order, prohibit you from having any kind of contact whatsoever with the protected person who is often your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, roommate, father or other family member. Yet time and again, criminal lawyers see arrests for technical violations—that is, violations of restraining and protective orders where someone innocently sends an email, text, Facebook message, or makes a quick phone call to check up on their kids—often at the request of the person protected by the Connecticut domestic violence protective order.

Arrests for technical violations reveals the madness which has become our Connecticut court system, where Connecticut domestic violence prosecutors have no choice but to take a tough and literal stance in enforcing the language of these protective orders. The risks are too serious for law enforcement so there’s no gray—just bright line, black / white interpretation of Connecticut protective orders, resulting in hundreds of arrests for Violation of Criminal Protective Orders under CGS 53a-223.

Understanding A Protective Order

When you are handed an order in court, the judge will ask you on the record whether you fully understand the conditions of the order and whether you understand the consequences of violating it. This judicial canvas allows police to arrest you for even the most technical violation, such as calling your spouse or showing up at their front door to drop off your kids, in violation of a 100-yard stay-away order.

Top lawyers often get frustrated when they see victims and protected persons of Connecticut restraining orders “lure” or “bait” their clients into violating a criminal restraining order. It happens often, especially when there is a contentious divorce action pending and one side is looking to gain an edge over their adversary by manufacturing a felony arrest for Violation of a Criminal Protective Order under CGS 53a-223. The bottom line, however, is to read your Connecticut domestic violence protective order or civil restraining order carefully. Connecticut police maintain a copy of these orders at their front desk and will not hesitate to enforce even the most technical or slightest violation.

Definitions & Penalties

One common question asked of the best Connecticut restraining order attorneys and lawyers is whether accidental or incidental violations of Connecticut protective / restraining orders will cause an arrest. The answer is yes. You do not need intent to violate a protective order. Accidental or inadvertent communications to a protected person, such as the ubiquitous “butt-dial” or accidental Facebook message, can get you arrested in Connecticut for Violation of a Criminal Protective Order. What is perhaps equally frustrating is how serious an arrest can be in Connecticut for Violating a Criminal Protective Order or Civil Restraining Order. It is a Class D Felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a maximum $5000 fine, years of probation, and mandatory submission of your DNA to law enforcement.

Appearing in Court

Your first court date in domestic violence criminal courts for a technical violation of a criminal protective order under CGS 53a-223 will be very similar to your first court date for the underlying domestic violence arrest that led to the ordering of the restraining order in the first place. Remember, what Family Relations Officers and the Superior Court judges do not want to hear is that “it wasn’t a big deal” because the communication was minor or not violent in nature. In their eyes, you violated a court order and they will want to hear remorse.

However, with a felony charge and a maximum 5 year jail sentence hanging over you, it is wise to consult an attorney before going to court for your 53a-223 Violation of Protective Order arrest. Like last time, you will be forced to appear for another restraining order hearing at your 12 noon arraignment, and it can feel like you are being thrown into a judicial gauntlet, riddled with court procedures, terminology, and social workers who can use whatever you say to them against you in the prosecution of your Connecticut domestic violence crime.

Consulting With A Lawyer

So if you have been arrested in Stamford, New Canaan, Weston, Wilton or Greenwich Connecticut for a technical Violation of a Criminal Protective Order (CGS 53a-223) or arrested for a technical Violation of a Civil Restraining Order (CGS 53a-223b), then contact a lawyer today. We understand how victims or protected persons can sometimes manipulate the legal process or criminal justice system to gain an advantage in a divorce action, or to try and humiliate you both personally and professionally. We regularly work hand in hand with your top Greenwich or Stamford Connecticut divorce lawyers with the goal of getting your wrongful arrest for Violation of a Protective Order / Restraining Order dismissed as quickly as possible.

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