Violation of No Contact Orders
Once a person takes out a stalking order, the target usually must remain away from the protected party. This could include a certain number of meters, a lack of personal communication or a removal of all contact to include family and friends. This may lead to a violation if the person attempts to make some form of contact without a lawyer. The terms of the order must remain intact if there is any chance of lifting it due to undue hardship placed on the target. It is generally important to hire a lawyer before trying to contact the protected person.
If a person violates a no contact orders, he or she can face serious consequences. Consequences often include potential jail time, the payment of fines or the loss of certain civil rights. Generally, consequences related to contempt of court can be imposed on a person who violates a no contact order.
Additionally, a person who is on probation or parole must take extra precautions. Violating a no contact order is considered a crime as well as a violation of a probation, parole or bail conditions.
If a court determines that a person on probation has violated the no contact order, his or her original sentence may be imposed.
For example, if the person received a one-year sentence that was suspended, this year of jail may then be imposed because the defendant did not comply with the terms of his or her sentence.
Likewise, if a person violates a no contact order while on bail, bail can be revoked, and the person can be held over until the underlying crime for which he or she is charged is prosecuted.
With restraining and stalking orders, avoiding certain actions will be crucial to defending against a permanent order and not getting slapped with criminal charges.
- Do not destroy evidence that you think could hurt you, as this may cast you in a suspicious light with the court and can lead to criminal charges.
- Do not try to talk to the petitioner or witnesses you expect will testify for the petitioner about the case or have any contact with them (including text messages or email).
- Do not disregard a temporary restraining or stalking order in any way.
- Do not try to get around a provision in the order.
As to the last one, claiming ignorance as to what “no contact” means is not a good strategy. No contact means no contact. For instance, don’t try to get around the order by going by the children’s school or visiting them at a relative’s home. Don’t ask a third party to relay your message to the petitioner. And if the petitioner asks you to meet up to talk things over, you can’t accept the invitation without violating the order. A petitioner’s invitation doesn’t negate the order. (The order might even say as much in bold letters.)
My neighbor took out a stalking order on me for cutting down some small trees on what she thought was her property. The order clearly said not to be in her “line of sight”. I did not think that my going out and working on my lawn where she could see me was violating the order. I was wrong. Two sheriffs came and arrested me and I spent a night in jail.