What does the prosecutor have to prove and what are the penalties?
TYPES OF PROTECTIVE ORDERS - There are three different varieties of protective orders.
Emergency protective orders – lasts approximately 72 hours and can be obtained from a Magistrate or Judge by the petitioner or a police officer without the presence of the respondent.
Preliminary protective orders – Generally last approximately two weeks and is issued by a Judge without the presence of the respondent.
Permanent protective orders. – Can be entered for up to two years and usually occurs after a full hearing on the merits of the case.
Although each is different in terms of duration and how a petitioner obtains one (see our video on protective orders by clicking here) they all carry the same consequence if you violate the terms.
NOTICE - When the Court issues a protective order and you are served with a copy you are presumed to be on notice of the order’s provisions. These provisions include but are not limited to no contact with a petitioner and their family members, sole and exclusive use of a residence, prohibiting further acts of violence, and in some instances prohibiting you for terminating utilities. Each violation of the Order’s terms constitutes a separate and distinct charge.
TYPICAL VIOLATION - The most common violation occurs when the respondent is required to have no contact with the petitioner and the respondent or third party at the respondent’s request reaches out to communicate because they need to obtain items from the home or because they are responding to a text/ call from the petitioner or they want to speak with their children. Although the plain meaning of “no contact” is not contained in the actual order no contact means no in-person contact, no phone calls, no text messages, no emails and no third party contact.
THE CONSEQUENCES – It is a class one misdemeanor if you violate the terms of a protective order. If found guilty the maximum punishment for this crime is 12- months of active incarceration, a part of which may not be suspended, a $2500 fine and the reinstatement of a new protective order for up to two years
There are many technical defenses that may be available to you that only an attorney well versed in evidentiary rules and procedures will be able to provide. If we can help you with this or any other legal matter please give us a call at (757) 267-4949.