Violation of a Restraining Order

When the court issues an order prohibiting your contact with another person it’s often referred to as a restraining order or a protection order. If you go against this court order you can face criminal charges and other potential sanctions.

The fact that a restraining order was issued in the first place indicates your involvement in the court system. Whether you were already facing charges or going through a divorce, violating a restraining order will not look good in the judge’s eyes.

The details of a criminal violation like this and the potential repercussions you will face depend on the state you reside in and the reasons for the order.

What Does a Restraining Order Do?

Restraining and protection orders can do more than just keep you away from someone. They are most often tailored specifically towards the needs of your case. For instance, a restraining order may do any of the following:

  • Keep you from your home or the home of someone else,
  • Prevent you from making contact via phone, email, or text massage,
  • Order temporary child custody,
  • Order support payments,
  • Dictate specific distances you need to maintain between you and someone else

Violation of a Protection/Restraining Order – Penalties

If you violate any terms of the protection order, you can face criminal charges. The exact charge you face depends on the state in which you live.

Violating a protection order can be a criminal charge unto itself, or it can be an element of a domestic violence charge.  There can be a host of criminal and civil implications if you are found to be in violation.

And it can be surprisingly easy to be in violation. You can be violation without your knowledge, or by accident. You can even be accused of violating the order by simply accepting a phone call, or if the other person initiates contact with you.

Whether you intentionally disobeyed the court’s order or accidentally, we may be able to help. It’s true that not all violations are intentional and if this is the case with yours, our attorneys can argue to convince a judge that you just made a mistake, plea for leniency.

Many states charge protection order violations as “contempt of court”. Others have a completely separate criminal offense for “violation of a restraining order”. Regardless, you will have to answer to the charges and the judge won’t likely be happy to see you about it.

Usually, violating a protection order is considered a misdemeanor unless someone is harmed. Misdemeanor offenses are typically punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines. However, if this isn’t your first violation, the penalties could be even worse.

In order to give you helpful information about the charges you face, we need to hear about the details. Contact us today and we can put you in touch with a local attorney who can help.