Categories of Stamford Restraining Orders

There are many different types of restraining orders an individual can have placed upon them. The complexity of these orders, and the processes by which they are enacted can often be overwhelming. Because of this, it is important to contact an experienced protective order attorney in Stamford who can help advise as to how to proceed when faced with such orders. A knowledgeable lawyer can craft a case to help defend you against any court issued orders you may not be deserving of.

Defining Domestic Violence

Connecticut law defines a domestic violence crime as a crime that takes place between family members, or people in a physical, sexual, or dating relationship. When a person is accused of domestic violence, there is a separate set of rules and remedies available to them in the state superior court. For starters, when an individual is accused of a domestic violence crime, they are ordered to report to court on the very next business morning at 9 a.m. to appear in their protective order/restraining order hearing.

Domestic violence does not cover an individual fighting with an ex-partner, or a current partner’s ex.  The violence must be contained within a current relationship to qualify as domestic violence. When an individual is accused of the latter, their case is not classified by Connecticut laws as domestic violence and is designated to the regular docket in the criminal court. These differences can often decide which category of Stamford restraining order is issued upon an individual.

Commonly Imposed Conditions for Family Violence Cases

In the case of domestic violence, a protective order is almost always entered. Various conditions of release can accompany the bond which might include substance abuse treatment if the charges were involved alcohol or drugs, and urine screens. When a person is ordered to stay away from a residence, the judge can impose that the bail monitors the person through a GPS. This means that if the individual goes within a certain distance from that residence the judge will deem that a violation. If a person named in a no-contact order contacts the protected person, they can be arrested and charged with violation of a protective order which could be an additional charge to their case.

What is a No-Contact Order?

A no-contact order means the accused cannot have any contact whatsoever with the protected person. When a judge puts a no-contact order in place, they may allow for a third party contact to facilitate things such as child visitation or bill payments. The judge usually puts that on the record so it is included in the order. When someone fails to abide by a no-contact order, the individual is usually arrested and charged with violation of a protective order.

Types of Protective Orders

There are 3 categories of restraining/protective orders in Connecticut. A criminal protective order is issued in almost every Stamford domestic violence arrest, as well as Stamford stalking and sexual assault arrests that do not necessarily involve domestic violence. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-15 is the Connecticut statute which governs civil restraining order hearings, and provides relief from physical abuse, stalking, or a pattern of threatening behavior by family or a household member. It is a civil order issued by the Connecticut Family Court judges to protect any person, and is also called a family court restraining order.

A family restraining order is issued by the family court. An individual can file a 46b-15 application with the family court clerk’s office. A judge then grants immediate relief or denies it. It is called ex parte relief and it immediately issues relief that must be served on the respondent. A hearing is issued within one to two weeks depending on whether the respondent is alleged to have possessed firearms. An ex parte order must be served on the respondent who then has the right to call witnesses, confront the accuser, and have a full evidentiary hearing. They can subpoena witnesses, subpoena evidence, and be heard on the application.

The court hears that and can extend the restraining order for one year. Sometimes, before the judge has the hearing, they often send the parties to the Family Relations Office in the Stamford courthouse. The Family Relations Officer (FRO) tries to mediate the restraining order and come up with a compromise. If that is not successful, the hearing proceeds and could take days. This, in turn, can be incredibly expensive.

Another category of restraining order is called a civil protective order. These are issued by the civil courts of the Connecticut Superior Court system, not the family court or the criminal court.  They are issued to protect victims of stalking, rape, and sexual assault, regardless of whether a dating relationship or family relationship exists. Due to the many categories of restraining orders in Stamford, it is pertinent that any individual involved in such proceedings contact an attorney immediately.

Categories of Restraining Orders

When an individual is accused of violating a Stamford restraining order, it is a felony criminal arrest. This charge is classified as a violation of a civil restraining order, and is considered a domestic violence crime. Whether it is a domestic violence criminal protective order, a family civil restraining order, or a civil court protective order, the restraining orders are identical in form and substance. There are three categories of Stamford restraining orders, which include:

  • A full no-contact order
  • A full or residential stay-away order
  • A partial or limited protective order

An attorney will urge an individual to use caution when engaged in a protective order. Sometimes, people may use these orders as swords, not shields, and attempt to bait the respondent into violating the order. An individual cannot defend themselves by saying that the protected party wrote them, or asked them over. It is not an effective defense method.

Violation of a Restraining Order

Violating a restraining order is a very strictly enforced, strict liability crime. Even technical violations of the full no-contact order are enforced. For example, if an individual sends a Tweet, Facebook message, or even a LinkedIn invitation to the protected party, it is a technical violation. Currently, the Stamford police are strictly enforcing these crimes. Sometimes, the court can add additional restrictions to the full no-contact and full residential orders, including exceptions such as permitting the parties to text or email each other regarding parenting time visitation. Violating any of those orders or any condition of those orders is considered a violation. It is a domestic violence crime, and in every case, it is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years

 

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