A brief discussion about how to deal with a Standing Criminal Protective Order in place after arrest in place during the pendency of the charges.
What to do in preparation for Arraignment
You have got a ticket for a domestic violence case. If things go wrong a protective order could be put into place that will mean you are effectively evicted from your home. Plus getting a running start for what will happen in court on the first day will make for a better overall outcome. If you are able to talk to the accuser/victim do so to see if you can work things out in an amicable manner. If not move on from this step. If so put together a plan on how to prevent future altercations. Something like couples therapy is perfect. Show the court, and family relations, that you are able to work things out without their supervision and involvement. Bring proof of what you did to court. Also start working on counseling and/or anger management for yourself. The same as before, something went wrong, you know it, and are working to fix it. Bring proof, such as letters of treatment, with you to court.
Arraignment: The Big Day
One of the bigger concerns, beyond bail, is that family relations will request some sort of Standing Criminal Protective Order. This means that they will require you to avoid any assaultive behavior upon the accuser. The concern is that this could include a residential stay away and a FULL no contact order. Once this is in place it is difficult to change. If it looks like that is going to happen one can request what is called a "Fernando" or "Fernando A" hearing. This is based upon the case of State v. Fernando A. Upon request the court has to allow for a hearing within a fairly quick time about whether to have the order in place and the terms of the order. Evidence can be presented and witnesses can testify. Often times this is unknowingly waived as the court is not required to give parties notice of this right. Asking for this hearing also lets the prosecutor know you are taking this seriously and you know what you are doing. Then a hearing is scheduled for which the next steps need to be done for a hearing which is beyond the scope of this article.
It is imperative to remember two things:
1. No matter how unfair you think the orders are you must follow them until changed by the court; and,
2. Even if the protected party waives them the court doesn't care, even if they initiate contact turn in down, the court doesn't care.
It is very easy for a minor misdemeanor case to turn into a felony case with a possibility of jail time.
Additional resources provided by the author
The Connecticut judicial website has information regarding Family Violence matters.
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