C.G.S. § 53a-223 – Criminal Violation of a Protective Order
Courts have the power to issue protective orders in various situations such as civil orders of protection and criminal orders of protection in domestic violence cases. If the defendant violates the terms of the court's order, it is a separate criminal offense. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-223, it is illegal to violate the terms of an order of protection. This crime most commonly occurs in domestic violence cases.
Courts take violations of criminal orders of protection very seriously and often will impose significant bail bond increases for these offenses.Elements of the Crime Which Must be Proven by The Prosecution
To prove that the accused violated a protective order under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-223, the state's attorney must prove the following elements of the crime:
- The court issued a protective order;
- The accused was aware of the protective order;
- The accused violated some aspect of the court's order.
A man is arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-61. During his arraignment, the judge issues a full no contact criminal order of protection barring any contact with the victim, and a signed copy of the order was served on the man. Later, the girlfriend feels lonely and starts texting the man. At first, he ignores her, but after a while, he starts to respond to her messages. At some point, the girlfriend becomes upset by the man again and decides to go to the police to file a complaint about the test messages. The man could be prosecuted for violating a criminal order of protection under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-223 even though the victim was the one who originally initiated the contact. The fact that the man was never convicted of the assault has no relevance to the prosecution of the violation of the protective order. If the content of the text messages were non-threatening and non-harassing, this would be a Class D felony offense. However, if the content of the messages contained a threat or were harassing, the crime would be a more severe Class C felony.
A man is subject to a full no-contact order of protection not to contact his wife. The man is attending his regular church service when his wife walks into the church. The man quickly walks out the other way and leaves. The wife calls the police to complain that the man violated the order of protection by contacting her at her church. Since this as an accidental encounter and the man promptly left the church when his wife arrived and did not speak with her, the man could not be prosecuted for a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-223.Related Offenses
- Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-64bb – Strangulation in the Second Degree
- Connecticut General Statutes §53a-96 - Unlawful Restraint in the Second Degree
- Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-61 – Assault in the Third Degree
The protected party can never be prosecuted for violating a protective order or conspiring with the accused to violate the order. Also, the protected party can't give the accused permission to violate the order. Only the court can modify or terminate an order of protection.
Many domestic violence allegations are false. It is not uncommon for victims to falsely accuse their estranged partner with violating a protective order. Some of the claims we have seen prosecuted involve very trivial allegations. The police generally will prosecute any claimed violation of an order of protection no matter how slight.
The family violence education program is an available option to resolve a criminal violation of a protective order charge without having to plead guilty or wind up with a criminal record. You must have no prior history of a conviction for a family violence crime and not have previously used this program before. Also, this program is not available for anyone charged with the more severe Class C felony level of this statute.Penalties
The penalty for a violation of Connecticut General Statutes Section § 53a-223 criminal violation of an order of protection varies depending on the nature of the violation of the order. Most violations are Class D felonies for which you can face up to five years in jail and a fine up to $5,000.
Any criminal violation of an order of protection which involved the imposition of restraint upon the protected party; or threatening, harassing, assaulting or sexually assaulting the protected party is a Class C felony punishable by up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.Criminal Defense for Criminal Violation of a Protective Order
Courts and state's attorneys take violations of orders of protection very seriously. As a result, you should immediately speak to an experienced Connecticut criminal lawyer if you or someone you know has been accused of this offense. Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman has over 30 years of experience defending domestic violence allegations. Attorney Friedman will work hard to fight the accusations against you, have them dismissed, or significantly reduce the possible penalties.
For more information about defending criminal violation of a protective order allegations in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-223, contact Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman at The Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman to arrange your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Our offices are located at 1100 Summer St #306, Stamford, CT 06905. Mr. Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.