Violation of a Protective Order / Restraining Order
Violation of a Protective Order / Temporary Restraining Order
Unfortunately, many relationships end in the most explosive manner. Where violence or threats of violence exist, the Court has the power to grant Restraining Orders to assist individuals in protecting themselves.
The term, or effective length, of a restraining order can last for a period as short as several days up to a term of several years. Violation of a restraining order is a criminal offense and is punishable by jail time, fines, anger management classes, mandatory counseling, and more.
If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence the police officer most likely served you with a Temporary Criminal Protective Order (pc Â§Â§ 527.6 and 527.9), which as a condition of your bail orders that you:
- Have no direct or indirect contact with the victim
- Stay at least 100 yards from the victimâ€™s residence, place of work and automobile
- Not harass, annoy stalk or harm the victim.
- These orders can cause you to be removed from your house while the case is pending.Â The temporary orders usually become permanent orders at the arraignment.Â The arraignment is the first date set for you to appear in court.Â This is where the judge will advise you of the charges and ask if you want to plead guilty; not guilty or if you need more time to talk to a lawyer.Â Some judges may allow you to address the issue of the Criminal Protective Order at the arraignment.
- In order to have any legitimate chance of having the order modified from a no contact/ kick out order, the victim needs to have obtained some counseling from at least the victim advocate at the District Attorneyâ€™s Office and be prepared to address the court at the arraignment.Â If the case involves serious charges and a significant injury, the court may require that the Criminal Protective orders be modified after a hearing at a later date.
- If you need to return home or need to have the Criminal Protective Orders modified, please contact a lawyer as soon as possible to get the process started.Â Do not contact the victim.
Protective orders are always issued in criminal cases and must be requested by a prosecutor or judge. They are usually associated with domestic violence charges, but can be issued before you have been tried or convicted on those charges. Generally, a protective order forbids you from having contact with someone or visiting the place where that person lives or works. A no-contact order includes phone calls or messages through another person.
Restraining orders are issued civilly and can be requested by people who believe they are victims of crime, violence or harassment (including telephone harassment). The alleged victim, usually through a lawyer, must first file for and receive a temporary restraining order. TRO's as they are called are commonly granted and do not require a high burden of proof. The judge will then schedule a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to grant a permanent restraining order. At this hearing the court will require a higher burden of proof prior to granting a permanent restraining order. The defendant must serve you with all legal documents related to the restraining order hearing and show proof to the court that you were in fact served.
Intentionally and knowingly violating a protective or restraining order is a misdemeanor that could land you in jail for up to a year, earn you a fine of up to $1,000, or both. If you knowingly violated a court order and someone was physically injured as a result, the fine doubles and you are facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence of at least 48 hours.. Repeat violators can be fined up to $2,000 and can expect to be in jail for at least 30 days. In addition, if you're out on bail or probation, violating a protective order will likely result in you to be taken back into custody on a probation violation.
Courts may choose to give you probation instead of jail time for violating either type of court order. As a condition of this probation, the judge can choose to require you to make payments to a shelter for battered women, elderly people or dependent adults. The court may also require you to reimburse the victim for any counseling or other expenses that resulted from the violation. And of course, any use or possession of a firearm while you're under a protective order is also illegal and carries separate punishments. It will also make any future criminal proceedings or family law proceedings more difficult to win.
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