Connecticut Restraining Order and Civil Protective Order Defense Attorneys
Experienced Attorneys who defend against Restraining Order and Civil Protective Order applications.
Restraining Orders and Civil Orders of Protection are Court Orders that prohibit an individual from engaging in certain behavior. Under certain circumstances, the Court will issue a Restraining Order against someone who is involved in a domestic dispute, or an argument between family members or those in an intimate relationship. If someone makes an allegation of violence or threat of violence against you, and you are not a family member or did not share an intimate relationship the complaining party, the Court can issue a Civil Order of Protection.
If you are the subject of a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection, contact an experienced Restraining Order attorney immediately. At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC, our attorneys are skilled in dealing with Restraining Orders and Civil Orders of Protection and we know how to protect your rights. Attorneys Audrey Felsen and Bruce Koffsky have a thorough understanding of Connecticut law and procedure related to the imposition of Restraining Orders and Civil Orders of Protection and will make sure you understand your rights and exercise them throughout the proceedings.
Restraining Orders vs. Civil Orders of Protection
A Restraining Order is a Court Order that can provide relief from physical abuse, stalking, or a pattern of threatening from a family or household member.
Under Connecticut law, judges are authorized to issue Restraining Orders against individuals who are accused of committing acts or threats of violence against family or household members.
A family member includes spouses, former spouses, partners, former partners, people who share a child in common, parents or their children, individuals related by blood or marriage, and individuals who live or who have lived together.
Civil Orders of Protection
Civil Orders of Protection are Court Orders issued against individuals accused of committing acts of sexual abuse, sexual assault, stalking, harassment or other acts of violence.
An individual seeking a Civil Order of Protection from the Court can fill out an application (“relief from abuse”) and submit it to the Court for review. The Court will review this application, which includes an affidavit by the complainant, and either schedule a hearing, grant a Temporary Order of Protection and schedule a hearing, or deny the application. At a hearing, the complainant will request a No Contact Order or request that the Court enter other Orders that can last for up to one year.
What are the potential penalties for violating a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection?
While applications for Restraining Orders and Civil Order of Protections and hearings are handled in civil Court, if a Court issues a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection against you, you can be charged with a crime if you violate these Orders. Even engaging in simple acts such as calling or sending a text message to the protected party could lead to criminal charges, especially if a No Contact Order is in place.
Regardless of whether you agree with a Court’s finding and Order, once a Court has issued a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection against you, you are subject to the terms of the Order for months, or even years, if the Court extends the Order.
If you violate a Restraining Order, Civil Order of Protection or Protective Order, you face significant criminal penalties, including fines and jail time. In addition, the existence of the Restraining Order and its violation will stay on your record, which will be accessible to the general public.
Restraining Orders and violations of these Orders carry significant potential risks and collateral consequences. In many cases, a Restraining Order violation can impact your reputation within your community and your ability to obtain employment. If you get served with a notice that someone has filed a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection against you, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
What should you do if someone files a Restraining Order against you?
Most importantly, if the Court grants an application for a Temporary Restraining Order or Temporary Civil Order of Protection, you must comply with the terms of the Order.
A Judge can issue a temporary ex parte Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection when an applicant fills out an application for either a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection seeking immediate Court intervention. A judge will review the application and accompanying affidavit and may issue a Temporary Order and set a court date, upon which it will hear evidence about whether to continue the Order or deny the applicant’s request.
Ex parte Restraining Orders and Civil Orders of Protection typically last for 14 days or until the date of the hearing, whichever is longer, but they can last for up to a year.
An ex parte “relief from abuse” Order might allow some contact, but will prohibit the alleged offender from engaging in threatening behavior or showing up at the victim’s home or workplace.
If someone has applied for a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection against you, or if you have been accused of violating an Order:
- Take steps to preserve evidence.
- Consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
An experienced attorney can request that the Court modify a Restraining Order to be less restrictive or even terminate a Restraining Order. In addition, your attorney can provide valuable legal counsel as to how to ensure you are in compliance with the Court’s Order.
How We Can Help
If someone files an application for a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection against you, you have the right to challenge the application at a hearing before a judge. If you have children, a Restraining Order might prevent you from contacting them. Also, once a Restraining Order is in place, authorities will enter your name in a national database that allows law enforcement to detain you during a traffic stop or border crossing. Work with an experienced attorney who will help you preserve and gather evidence and defend you at a hearing, or if you are accused of violating a Restraining Order.
Unfortunately, sometimes people apply for Restraining Orders to embarrass or hurt you, or even gain leverage in another legal proceeding, especially against a spouse in the context of a divorce or partner in the context of a domestic dispute,-even if they aren’t really fearful of you. The process is meant to protect those who really need the Court’s intervention, and should be aggressively defended against when used as a sword rather than a shield.
Potential Defenses to Restraining Orders
Old or “stale” evidence.
When a person applies for a Restraining Order against their spouse or partner they must provide evidence of recent abusive or threatening conduct.
Complainant initiates contact.
If your spouse or partner applied for a Restraining Order yet continues to socialize with you, engage in sexual relations with you and/or contact you for a wide variety of reasons, your attorney can argue that your spouse or partner does not really believe you are a threat to their personal safety.
Invalid nature of the threat.
Connecticut law requires a person to receive credible physical threats before a judge can issue a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection. If you were served with an Order because you threatened to sue, bankrupt, or otherwise financially ruin your partner or spouse, this type of threat does not justify an Order; threats must be of a physical nature.
Misrepresentations by the complainant.
In some cases, people make misrepresentations to the court when applying for a Restraining Order. If the applicant made a false statement on the application, it calls their entire accounting into question. It is also a crime. Your attorney might subpoena witnesses, or use emails, texts, voicemails, phone records, emergency calls, police reports and any other relevant evidence or facts to attack the applicant’s credibility.
Contact a Connecticut Restraining Order defense lawyer today.
A Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection can seriously affect your life. The law partners at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC have extensive experience handling these matters and devote their practice to vigorously defending the rights of people accused of criminal offenses. We take a team approach to defending individuals who face criminal charges in Connecticut. Our team of experienced attorneys will identify and discuss with you potential defenses you have against the issuing or violation of a Restraining Order or Civil Order of Protection.
Contact Koffsky & Felsen, LLC in Connecticut today at (203) 327-1500 to schedule a consultation with a partner from our firm who can help you determine the best course of action for your individual circumstances.