Any kind of violation of an order of protection can result in serious consequences. An order of protection is usually granted under a civil issue. If there is a violation of this order, then the person who commits the violation enters into a criminal court because of the nature behind the order of protection. For some violators, a jail sentence is a possibility depending on the person’s background and the severity of the violation. If a violation occurs, an attorney can work to deliver details about the occurrence as well as the intent.
An order of protection is granted to a petitioner as a way to keep the respondent from making any kind of contact. Once the respondent makes the decision to make contact and violate the conditions of the order, the person becomes a defendant in the eyes of the court. Charges of violation must occur while the order is valid. The respondent must have been served the order of protection, knowing that there were certain actions that could not be committed, such as making no phone contact with the petitioner. Soon after a complaint is made against the respondent, then an officer can take the person into custody to go before a magistrate or a judge. An attorney can work with the defendant to piece together how the violation occurred as there could be instances when paths crossed unintentionally. The petitioner could think that the meeting occurred intentionally, contacting law enforcement about the violation.
Charges of a violation of an order of protection are typically handled as a misdemeanor. If jail time is ordered, it’s usually less than a year. If the defendant has a criminal history or if there are past issues with violations, then the person could be charged with a felony violation. This could result in a longer jail sentence of up to seven years depending on the circumstances. Sometimes, probation is an option if the person doesn’t have a criminal background.
After Being Charged
If at any time you are charged with a violation of an order of protection, then contact with an attorney would likely be the best option to consider. An attorney can work to investigate the details of the order of protection and determine whether an intentional violation occurred. Various types of material can be examined, such as social media messages and posts as well as emails and phone conversations.
Sometimes, an order of protection can be issued in another state. After an order has been filed by a court in a different state other than where the victim lives, the person has the right to file another order in a different location if there is a concern that enforcement is needed in that area as well. The foreign order is treated in a similar manner as the current order. However, the foreign order typically isn’t mailed to the respondent. The foreign order is filed with the proper law enforcement officials so that there is a copy on hand in the event that it is needed.
Residence in the state or in the area where the foreign filing occurred isn’t a requirement for the order to be valid. There is no fee to file a foreign order. After receiving the order, the proper authorities are notified as to who the respondent is and the terms of the order.
A respondent may be served with a foreign order of protection by any member of law enforcement or a member of the court. Law enforcement has the right to investigate any concerns of a violation of the order as well as any allegations that are given in order to determine if any charges need to be filed. There are certain details that need to be included in a short form notification, such as the name of the respondent, the date of birth if it’s known at the time, and the name of the petitioner. If there are any other parties protected by the order, they must be included on the form as well. A hearing date, the location of the hearing, and all of the conditions that the respondent must abide by are to be included on the form.
There are details on the short notice that must be in bold print. These include that the order is enforceable. The details of the form are available to law enforcement. An arrest can be made if there is any violation of the details that are listed in the order. The same form can be used for orders of protection as well as no stalking or no contact orders.
If there is any violation of the order, then it will be enforced by law enforcement. In the event that the violation is considered a contempt of court, it could be seen as a civil and a criminal issue. Proper remedies are put in place if a violation occurs which could include time in jail or probation.