A lot of clients think that a disorderly conduct arrest is not that serious. In this blog, I am going to share five important things you should know if you have been arrested for disorderly conduct in Connecticut.
In Connecticut, disorderly conduct C.G.S. § 53a-182 is one of the most common arrests. A lot of disorderly conduct arrests occur as a result of domestic violence cases because the police are required to make an arrest anytime someone calls 911 and they find probable cause that a crime has occurred. Disorderly conduct is a catch-all statute that covers a wide range of behavior and gives the police officer a lot of discretion on when to apply the statute to make an arrest. Any arrest for domestic violence should be taken very seriously. While disorderly conduct is a relatively minor Class C misdemeanor a conviction can have serious ramifications for your future.
1. Even Though The Police Did Not Take You Down to the Police Station it is Still an “Arrest”
In a lot of disorderly conduct arrests, the police will simply give you what is known as a “Misdemeanor Summons and Complaint” ticket. It looks a lot like a traffic ticket but it has a mandatory court appearance requirement. For domestic violence situations, you will be required to attend court the next business day. A lot of clients think that because they just got a ticket that it wasn’t an arrest. This is not correct, every disorderly conduct charge is a criminal arrest that will go on your permanent F.B.I arrest record. Disorderly conduct is a class C misdemeanor and you need to take this allegation seriously as it can have lasting effects on your ability to seek employment and your reputation.
2. A Disorderly Conduct Arrest Can Get you Removed From Your Home
If your disorderly conduct arrest is classified as a domestic violence offense (depends upon the relationship between the accused and the victim) the court will be issuing orders of protection at your arraignment. Domestic violence arraignments take place on the nest business day after an arrest. The office of family relations will screen your case, interview you and the victim and generate a lethality score. It is entirely possible that either a residential stay away order of protection of a full no-contact order of protection may enter against you. If you reside with the alleged victim, the entry of either of these orders would result in your removal from your home until the orders are modified or terminated. Many clients don’t take disorderly conduct arrests seriously and then are shocked when they are issued an order of protection which removes them from their home for the pendency of the case. It is recommended that everyone consult with an experienced Connecticut domestic violence attorney as soon as possible so they can prepare for their arraignment.
3. A Disorderly Conduct Arrest Can Trigger a DCF Investigation
If you had minor children present during the time of the conduct which results in a disorderly conduct arrest the police are required by law to report the arrest to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) who will initiate an investigation. A DCF investigation can be really intrusive and annoying. Some police departments make DCF referrals even when the children were sleeping in another part of the home when the incident took place and the children were not involved in any manner. Since we have a mandated reporter statute, some police departments err on the side of being overly cautious and report cases to DCF where there was absolutely no danger to any child or any kind. Anytime that DCF gets involved with an investigation you are going to deal with a lot of unwanted questions, intrusions, and inconvenience. If DCF gets out of hand you have the right to hire a lawyer to represent you and push back against DCF. If you have any problems with a DCF investigation getting out of hand you should speak with a Connecticut domestic violence lawyer to explore your options to manage the situation.
4. A Disorderly Conduct Conviction Can Have Long Term Consequences
If your disorderly conduct case is classified as a domestic violence case, any conviction would have very serious consequences. For starters, you would be subject to a lifetime ban on owning any firearms. A lot of potential employers have very strict policies in effect about domestic violence offenders in the workplace. Your reputation is very important and while this offense seems trivial you should treat it seriously.
5. Many Disorderly Conduct Cases Can Be Favorably Resolved
If you are a first-time offender there is a great chance that a skilled lawyer can convince the office of family relations and states attorney that the incident was an isolated situation and work to get the charges nolled or dropped. In other situations engaging in some short term anger management therapy can help your lawyer convince the state to drop the charges. For more serious cases, or where the victim objects to a favorable resolution, the family violence education program can result in a dismissal of these charges.
If you are facing a charge of disorderly conduct feel free to contact us online or call 24/7 at (203) 357-5555. Attorney Friedman has more than 30 years of experience successfully defending domestic violence allegations. Feel free to call now for a free consultation