Wilton Protective Order Violations
Are you subject to a protective order in Wilton, Connecticut? Are you charged with violating that order? Westport protective order violations are criminal offenses that carry strict penalties. Because each order of protection contains unique restrictions, it may be helpful to consult a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney for assistance with compliance or building a defense.
What is a Protective Order?
Courts issue different types of protective orders in various situations. These orders usually restrict one person from making contact with another person, and they may contain broad prohibitions or relatively narrow restrictions depending on the needs of the case as understood by the court.
Civil protection and restraining orders are generally sought in civil court by those who feel they are being threatened or harassed, Connecticut General Statutes (“C.G.S.”) §46b-15, §46b-16a(a). Criminal protective orders are usually issued during criminal proceedings to protect parties involved in a domestic violence case or victims of stalking, harassment, sexual assault, and other crimes, C.G.S. §46b-38(c)(e), §54-1k. While these orders typically only remain in force during the criminal proceedings, a standing criminal protective order (C.G.S. §53a-40e) may last much longer.
What are the Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection?
Violations of protective orders are felony charges under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-223. The degree of the felony will vary depending on the type of order and the circumstances involved with the violation.
For violations of criminal protective orders, standing criminal protective orders, and civil restraining orders, a violation may be treated as a Class C felony if it involved sexual assault, harassment, threatening, molesting, or any type of restraint. Penalties for Class C felonies include up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and/or a period of probation of up to 3 years.
Other violations of protective orders are Class D felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine as high as $5,000, and/or a period of probation up to 3 years.
What can a Protective Order Restrict me From Doing?
Courts issue protective orders based on the circumstances of particular cases, so the restrictions may vary a great deal. Protective orders frequently prohibit contact between someone accused of domestic violence or other abuse and the person who feels threatened. Communication may be banned entirely, or only restricted in certain places such as the home or workplace.
In addition, protective orders may include terms that exclude one person from the family home, restrict or prohibit visitation with children, assign custody of children, require counseling, or address other matters.
What Counts as a Violation?
Any action or behavior that goes against a provision of your oder can be a violation. This means that if you are prohibited from calling the protected party, and you call them, you have violated the order.
Intent is not required to violate a protective order; it may involve something as simple as a social media post, group email, or accidental phone dial.
Ask a Westport Attorney About Your Protective Order
If you were accused of Westport protective order violations, an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer could advocate on your behalf. Violations are felony offenses with serious consequences, but you may be able to build a credible defense with the help of a skilled attorney. Call Mark Sherman Law today to discuss your case.