Stratford Protective Order Lawyer
It is very common in Stratford domestic violence cases for one party to seek a protective order prohibiting the other party from making contact or taking certain actions. Protective orders may come from civil court or from criminal court, but if these orders are violated, severe criminal penalties may result.
Because it can be difficult to understand the exact requirements of a restraining order or protective order, at times it can be hard to tell whether certain conduct complies with the order. Electronic communications and social media complicate matters still further since a message meant for one person may be viewed by many more and end up causing a violation.
A Stratford protective order lawyer who understands how and why these orders are issued can help you understand the terms of any restraining order with which you may be dealing so that you can avoid violations. In addition, an experienced domestic violence attorney can assist with seeking modifications of protective orders and provide a vigorous defense if you are accused of violating a restraining or protective order.
Civil vs. Criminal Protective Orders
In many cases, criminal protective orders and civil restraining orders result in similar outcomes, but the process for imposing these orders differs. When an individual charged with a crime in a domestic violence case first appears in court at an arraignment, the judge may issue a criminal protective order. Often this order is designed to remain in force throughout the criminal proceedings. Criminal courts may also issue standing criminal protective orders of longer duration.
Process of Obtaining Civil Restraining Orders
The process for obtaining a civil restraining order is different. For these orders, one party applies to the judge in Family Court seeking a restraining order based on a showing why it is needed. In the best circumstances, the Court holds a hearing before issuing any orders, giving both parties the chance to argue for or against the order or certain terms.
However, if one party persuades the judge that the other poses an imminent danger of harm to them, the Court may issue a temporary “ex parte” restraining order before the hearing. Where parties do not have the requisite domestic relationship needed to obtain a civil restraining order, a civil protection order may be issued instead.
Penalties for Violations of Civil and Criminal Protective Orders
The best time to seek advice from an attorney regarding a protective order is right at the start. A legal professional can help argue for terms that are clear and less burdensome and help with compliance once terms are in place. But if a violation is already alleged, it is important to realize that violation of either a civil restraining order or a criminal protective order is a felony offense under Connecticut law.
If the violation of the order involves violence, threats or the use of restraint, then that violation may be treated as a class C felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine as high as $10,000. Other violations are considered class D felonies with maximum penalties that include a fine of up to $5,000 and as much as five years of imprisonment.
Working with a Stratford Protective Orders Attorney
Regardless of whether you are seeking a protective order or accused of violating one, help from experienced legal counsel can provide your best chance of achieving the desired outcome.
A Stratford protective order lawyer can advocate on your behalf to protect your rights at all stages of the proceedings. Call now to learn how they can put their knowledge and skills to work for you today.