Wilton Protective Order Hearings
Given the speed with which Wilton protective order hearings will proceed, it is important to seek legal representation out as soon as possible after a domestic violence arrest. If retained in time, a top domestic violence lawyer can advocate for your point of view on the incident in question and work for a positive outcome.
What Are The Procedures of a Protective Order Hearing?
On the day of their protective order hearing, a Wilton resident arrested for domestic violence must check in at the court their hearing will be held in with the court’s Office of Family Relations. It is mandatory for a domestic violence defendant to meet with the Family Relations Officer assigned to their case prior to their protective order hearing, although participating in a more in-depth interview with that officer is optional.
What Happens During My Interview?
If you do consent to be interviewed, anything you say can be taken into account by the judge deciding on their protective order and utilized by the prosecution during their eventual trial. Whatever report the Family Relations Officer files tends to have a huge impact on the outcome of both these stages of a case, so it is wise to have legal counsel present during any conversation with this officer.
What Happens in Front of the Judge?
Once the protective order hearing actually begins later in the day, the judge will hear arguments and testimony from the alleged victim’s attorney or court-appointed advocate, the Family Relations Officer, the Bail Commissioner, and the prosecutor responsible for pursuing the defendant’s conviction. You can also make a case in your defense during this hearing—or, ideally, have a domestic violence attorney do so on your behalf.
What Are Some Potential Outcomes of an Initial Hearing?
Virtually every protective order hearing will end with the implementation of some kind of protective order that will remain in effect until the conclusion of the defendant’s criminal trial. Depending on the testimony heard and the specific allegations against the defendant, this order may take on different levels of severity.
The ideal outcome for this hearing that a domestic violence lawyer would push for is the institution of a “partial” or “limited” protective order, which only requires the defendant to not harass or assault their alleged victim any more. More severe circumstances may lead to the imposition of “residential stay-away” or “full no contact” orders, which respectively require defendants to move out of any residence they share with their alleged victim and to not make any contact with that alleged victim via any means.
What Are My Options When Challenging a Protective Order Hearing?
While an initial protective order is only supposed to last until trial, even a few weeks of having to find alternate living arrangements and remaining separated from children and family can wreak havoc on a defendant’s life. Accordingly, if a defendant disagrees with the decision handed down during their protective order hearing, they can request what is known as a “Fernando A. Hearing” to challenge the ruling with their own evidence and witnesses.
A Wilton Attorney Can Help During a Protective Order Hearing
You have the right to legal counsel during a Wilton protective order hearing, so do not let that right go to waste. Call Mark Sherman Law today to discuss your case and start constructing your legal defense.