Westport Protective Order Lawyer

Domestic violence charges are very serious offenses under Connecticut law. The law is designed to protect those who have experienced domestic violence from dangerous situations, and domestic violence incidents result in the imposition of restraining orders in almost every case. Moreover, violation of this order can have very serious personal and legal consequences. Although not everyone arrested in for domestic violence is guilty, the laws, generally speaking, are not structured to work in the favor of the accused, and the conditions incorporated into protective orders – as well as the penalties for violating those orders – can be very severe. Given the potential penalties involved, if you have been charged with violating a restraining order, then it is recommended that you hire an experienced Westport protective order lawyer to represent you at every stage of the proceedings. An experienced attorney can help build you a defense and ensure your rights are protected.

Process of Issuing a Protective Order

Before a judge can issue a protective order, local law enforcement will issue something called conditions of release until the scheduled court date. The accused may not be able to leave the house or contact the accuser in person or through a third party or the internet. These requirements depend on what the judge deems appropriate based on the facts of the case. Therefore, those accused of assault charges should speak with a Westport protective order lawyer as soon as possible.

Penalties for Violating Protective Orders

If someone violates a protective order, they could be considered to have committed a new and more severe crime. Third-degree assault charges are classified as misdemeanor offenses. Violation of a protective order is a felony offense. Depending on the circumstances, that person will be arrested and will go through the domestic violence arraignment process again, further complicating the original case.

Courts and judges take violations of protective orders very seriously. Violation of a criminal protective order is a felony, which is punishable by up to five years in jail, steep fines, and probation. Violation of a standing criminal protective order, an order entered against a defendant who has been convicted of a certain number of crimes of violence against a family or household member, is a felony punishable by one to five years of imprisonment, up to a $1,000 fine, or both, if convicted making it important that a protective order attorney in Westport is contacted.

What Are the Various Forms of Protection Orders?

The three main types of restraining orders are as follows, and typically remain in effect until the end of a criminal case:

  • Full No Contact Protective Order, forbidding any contact whatsoever with the protected person, including phone calls, texting, and social media messaging.
  • Full/Residential Stay-Away Protective Order, allowing for verbal, physical, and electronic contact, but no entry into the protected person’s home or place of employment.
  • Partial/Limited Protective Orders, allowing for physical, verbal, and electronic contact with the protected person, but no threats, intimidation, stalking, or harassment.

Because courts and judges look at these orders from a very conservative standpoint, seemingly innocent texts or phone calls made to a protected person after a full no contact order has been entered will usually result in an arrest.  The accused also runs the risk of being removed from their home for a period of weeks or even months while the case is pending.

In order to resolve a violation without the accused having to enter a guilty plea, it is essential for the defendant to prove that the accusing party is not at risk of harm.

Child Custody and Visitation Laws

Having a Westport protective order lawyer can be critical for temporary and long-term impacts of a protection order such as visitation rights with children. Child custody and visitation is typically handled in the family courts in Westport but a criminal court can prevent someone from seeing or visiting their children if they were involved in a domestic violence incident and assault incident. A court can order that the protective order be extended to the children as well as the spouse. If it is a crime against the children, they could protect the child in that situation and the person cannot see their children until they change the order.

How An Attorney Can Help

An experienced Westport protective order lawyer is ready to represent you at your domestic violence hearing. In an area of law that is very much recovery-centered, it is essential that you and your attorney persuade the prosecutor and the judge that the accuser and/or their family are not at risk of physical or emotional harm.

In order to prove this, you must have an experienced defense counsel representing you at your court hearing.  So if you are interested in learning more about how our firm can assist you with your domestic violence case, please contact us at any time via telephone or email.

The benefit of having a lawyer when someone is accused of third-degree assault is having someone that knows the system. Things move very quickly with assault and domestic violence arrests. The court date is the next day and there will be a protective order hearing on that court date. The person would have to meet with various people in court including the family relations office, the office of bail services if they are still incarcerated.

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