History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner








Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.8-1  Criminal Violation of a Protective Order -- 53a-223

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified November 6, 2014)

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with criminal violation of a protective order.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of criminal violation of a protective order when an order1 has been issued against such person, and such person violates such order.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Protective order
The first element is that a court issued a protective order against the defendant.  <Review evidence of order.>

Element 2 - Violation
The second element is that the defendant violated a condition of the protective order.  To violate a condition means to act in disregard of or to go against the condition.  <Insert specific condition that the defendant is charged with violating.>  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to conduct when (his/her) conscious objective is to engage in such conduct.  <See Intent: General, Instruction 2.3-1.>


In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) a court issued a protective order against the defendant, and 2) (he/she) violated a condition of that protective order.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of criminal violation of a protective order, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

1 Issued pursuant to General Statutes 46b-38c (e), 53a- 28 (f), 54-1k, or 54-82r.


Violation of a protective order is a general intent crime.  "[T]he intent required to prove a violation of 53a-223 (a) is only that the defendant intended to perform the activities that constituted the violation of the protective order."  State v. Fagan, 280 Conn. 69, 77 (2006), cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 127 S.Ct. 1491, 167 L.Ed.2d 236 (2007); see also State v. Charles, 78 Conn. App. 125, 130-31, cert. denied, 266 Conn. 908 (2003); State v. Hersey, 78 Conn. App. 141, 162, cert. denied, 266 Conn. 903 (2003).

The validity of the underlying order is not a necessary element of the offense.  State v. Wright, 273 Conn. 418, 432 (2005); State v. Manns, 91 Conn. App. 827, 834, cert. denied, 276 Conn. 927 (2005).

Double jeopardy
Although violation of a protective order and criminal trespass constitute the same offense under the Blockburger test, "the legislature intended multiple punishments for the offense of trespassing in violation of a protective order."  State v. Quint, 97 Conn. App. 72, 80, cert. denied, 280 Conn. 924 (2006).

Conviction of both criminal violation of a protective order and harassment in the second degree does not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy.  State v. Martino, 61 Conn. App. 118, 128 (2000).

It was not double jeopardy to punish the defendant for both violation of a protective order, stemming from his possession of firearms in violation of that order, and criminal possession of a firearm while subject to a protective order. State v. Bernacki, 307 Conn. 1 (2012). In Bernacki, the Supreme Court held that in deciding a double jeopardy claim involving the violation of a court order, the "same offense" prong of the Blockburger test looks only at the statutes and the charging documents and not the specific terms of the court order that was violated.

Sentence Enhancer
Effective January 1, 2015, the statute provides for an enhanced sentence if the violation of this offense  involves either imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of a person in violation of the protective order or threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting, sexually assaulting or attacking a person in violation of the protective order. The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt. See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4  and the definition of serious physical injury.


Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQs | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2016, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch