Domestic Violence Arrests & Fernando A. Hearings
Have you been arrested for domestic violence in the state of CT?
When you are arrested for a domestic violence crime, a criminal protective order will automatically be issued by the judge. There are a few different types of protective orders:
(1) Full “full no contact” order –prohibits a defendant from having any contact whatsoever with the alleged victim, and prohibits a defendant from entering the alleged victim’s home. A full no contact means the defendant cannot call, text, write, message on social media, or have ANY communication or contact with the protected person until the court says otherwise.
(2) Residential Stay Away order—prohibits the defendant from entering the victim’s home, but does permit contact. This means you may have contact via phone or in person, however the defendant cannot be near, present or enter the protected person’s home.
(3) “Partial” protective order—this is usually the least restrictive protective order, and prohibits the defendant from “threatening, intimidating or harassing” an alleged victim.
What is a “Fernando A.” hearing?
A “Fernando A.” hearing stems from a 2009 Connecticut Supreme Court case. In that case, the defendant sought the opportunity to have a hearing to contest the entry of the criminal protective order the court imposed against him. The judge denied his request, so the defendant appealed. The Supreme Court ruled that the defendant was entitled to a subsequent hearing (now called the Fernando A. hearing) to contest the criminal protective order, but only if the defendant made the request for the hearing at the time the criminal protective order went into effect. In other words, if you fail to request a Fernando A. hearing when the protective order is initially imposed (at arraignment) you waive your right to the hearing and must abide by the protective order in effect until further notice from the court.
The court held that the “Fernando A” hearing must be held within a reasonable period of time (usually 2-3 weeks) wherein the state will be required to prove the continued necessity of that order by a fair preponderance of the evidence, which may include reliable hearsay and the defendant will have the opportunity to proffer relevant evidence to counter the state’s case in support of his own testimony or that of other witnesses.
How do I know if my case is considered a Domestic Violence crime?
Connecticut defines family or household member to include any of the following persons regardless of their age:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Parents or their children
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Persons other than those related by blood or marriage but who presently reside together or have resided together (e.g.; roommates)
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever been married or lived together
- Persons who are currently in or who have recently been in a dating relationship
What are common “Domestic Violence” charges?
- Unlawful Restraint
- Sexual Assault
- Violation of a Protective Order
If you’ve been arrested for a domestic violence matter, contact Ferry Law as soon as possible to protect you.