Many people appreciate the fact that they can get a restraining order against another person in case they are victims of abusive conduct or harassment. However, what people often overlook is that there are three different types of restraining orders available under Connecticut law, each with their own unique effects. First, there are Protective Orders, which judges in a criminal case can hand down after a domestic violence case. Second, there are Reliefs from Abuse, which are available in family court. Finally, there are Civil Restraining Orders, a new form of relief available in civil court outside of the family context. Importantly, regardless of the type of order issued, a violation of any of them is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Protective Orders are available from criminal courts in two circumstances. First, if a person has been the victim of stalking by a family member, as defined under Connecticut law, then they may be able to receive a criminal Protective Order. Second, if a person has been a victim of family violence that resulted in the arrest of the other family member, then they may also be eligible for a Protective Order. However, people should be aware that a mere argument or physical abuse does not qualify as family violence, unless there was a likelihood of immediate physical violence. Protective orders, which usually last until the resolution of a criminal case, can forbid a variety of behaviors, including restraining the person’s freedom, threatening or assaulting the person, or entering the victim’s home. There is also an alternate version of the Protective Order, known as a Standing Criminal Restraining Order, which can stay in effect after the end of the case, usually for life.
Protective Orders are usually implemented in three different ways. First, there is a no-contact order that prohibits the accused from having any interaction with the victim. The second is the stay-away order which allows contact but hinders the accused from being at the victim’s home or work. Lastly is a partial protective order, which allows non-threatening or non-intimidating contact between the accused and the victim. Protective Orders remain in effect until the disposition of the criminal case including any period of incarceration and probation imposed by the court.
Relief from Abuse
Reliefs from Abuse are another type of domestic restraining order available independent of a criminal case. These orders are available for people who are in immediate danger of harm, either physical or mental, from a family member or romantic partner. These orders may come in two parts. First, if the court considers the danger severe enough, the family court judge may issue an “ex parte” order that serves as an immediate, short-term restraining order. Second, the judge will set a date for a hearing at which both parties can have their concerns heard. At the hearing the judge will determine whether the situation merits a restraining order, and will either impose a long-term one or simply remove the ex parte order.
These sorts of orders come in three forms, similar to Protective Orders, however Relief from Abuse orders generally last for one year. First, there is a no-contact order that forbids the subject from having any contact with the victim. The second is the stay-away order, which allows contact, but prevents the subject from entering the victim’s home or workplace. Third, is a partial protective order, which allows contact, but not threatening or intimidating behavior.
Civil Restraining Order
There is also a new law that allows people to get restraining orders against people not in their families. These new Civil Restraining Orders can be issued by a civil court judge in cases where a person has been a victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. These orders can also last for up to a year, and can consist of restrictions similar to the Protective Orders described above.
Restraining order violations can come with serious penalties. If someone is seeking a restraining order against you, or is accusing you of violating a restraining order, contact a skilled Hartford criminal defense lawyer at Woolf Law Firm, LLC today. Call [[phone1]] to schedule an initial consultation.