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Violation of a Restraining Order


Protection orders and no contact orders are put in place for a variety of reasons. But whatever the reason, a court order is legally binding while active,  and must be followed. If you are accused of violating any portion of one of these orders you could be facing criminal charges of contempt.

Often called restraining orders, protection orders and no contact orders are orders of the court that restrict action. They are most commonly issued in cases of domestic violence, harassment, and stalking, though there are several reasons for their use.

If the order arose because of a pending case, it can be difficult to adhere to when you think the charges against you are in error. However, even if the order alleges something that you don’t believe is true, you must abide by it until it is vacated by the court. If you wish to challenge the validity or legality of the protection order, that is a separate matter, but so long as it is in effect, it must be followed.

There are several types of orders including those that are immediately issued by the court, in domestic violence incidences, and those that are requested by the plaintiff in a case, often used in divorces. Regardless of the type, the gravity of the document is the same.

Protection orders can serve several functions. You may find your restraining order to do any of the following:

  • Restrict proximity to someone else
  • Order you from your own home
  • Dictate temporary child custody arrangements
  • Limit phone, mail, and technological contact with someone
  • Order temporary spousal or child support

If you are found in violation of any type of protection order you can be immediately arrested.

Potential Penalty – Violation of a Protective Order

Depending on the circumstances of your case the judge has the option of holding you in contempt of court or charging you with misdemeanor violation of a protection order.

Contempt of Court

Once taken into custody, you will, in most cases, be required to serve at minimum, a seven day jail term for your violation. Following that minimum 7 day period, you may serve additional time for the contempt charge.

Misdemeanor Violation of a Protection Order

If the protection order was taken out in a domestic violence case you can alternatively be charged with a simple misdemeanor. This carries a potential 30 day sentence.

Whether to hold you in contempt or to charge you with misdemeanor violation of a protection order is a determination made by the court.

Ref: IA. St. §664.A7

Protection orders can be difficult matters. The rules commonly laid out can be difficult to abide by, particularly if they remove you from your own home or keep you from your children.

If you are accused of violating a protection or temporary no contact order, I may be able to help. Contact me today to discuss your case. William Moore Authentic Jersey