Restraining Orders: Do They Lead to Criminal Charges?

Restraining Orders: Do They Lead to Criminal Charges?

A Variety of Protections From the Court

Restraining orders are frequently misunderstood legal orders. When people hear the term restraining order, they might think of a no-contact order, meaning the order restrains someone from contacting or coming near another person. These are typically issued in cases of domestic violence or harassment to protect the person being abused, stalked, or harassed. In actuality, there are many different types of restraining orders that are issued in different scenarios. Restraining orders can be civil or criminal. The type of restraining order and what it means will depend on who requested it, who the victim was, and the facts and circumstances of the case. In general, however, having a restraining order issued against you does not automatically mean you will face criminal charges.

A domestic violence restraining order is a type of civil restraining order. A person may ask for one if someone whom they have been in or are in an intimate relationship with is abusing them in a domestic situation. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual. Having a domestic violence restraining order against you does not necessarily mean criminal charges will be filed. Criminal charges can be filed, however, if you violate any part of the order.

A civil harassment order, another type of restraining order, doesn’t necessarily lead to criminal charges being filed. A person can request a civil harassment order to prevent you from harassing them. These orders are issued in cases that do not involve domestic violence. The person asking for the order is not asking the court to file charges against you, but rather just asking for protection. These types of restraining orders do not lead to criminal charges unless they are violated.

Criminal protective orders are another type of restraining order. These are issued in criminal cases to protect a victim or witness from the defendant. These orders can be issued in criminal cases involving domestic violence or other forms of assault, abuse, or harassment. These can be issued at almost any point once an offender has been arrested. In serious cases, an order can be issued on the spot to enforce immediate protection of a victim. The order itself does not result in charges being filed, but the conduct that warranted the order does. These can be short term, in emergency scenarios, or long-term. Just as with domestic violence restraining orders and civil harassment orders, you could face a criminal charge if you violate a criminal protective order.

Violation of a restraining or protective order of any kind can lead to criminal charges. You could face jail time, fines, and it could affect your probation. You could be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or with contempt of court for violation of an order. Contempt of court is a serious charge reserved for cases where the defendant has willfully and intentionally disobeyed the court’s orders. It is important to fully understand the implications and consequences of a restraining order so you don’t risk violating it. If you have violated a standing restraining order, you should speak with an attorney right away. 

Restraining orders are complex legal documents with a wide range of implications. They can place many difference restrictions on your life, and violating one of these restrictions can land you in jail or cause you to incur steep fines. If you have a standing restraining order against you, speak with an experienced attorney about what the order means for you. An attorney can review your order and answer any questions you have about the type of restraining order it is or what the consequences would be if you violated it. If you have already violated an order, it is a good idea to have an attorney assist you with your case. Violation of a restraining order is a serious charge that could affect many areas of your life. You do have rights, however, and an attorney can help you with defending them.

If you are in the Visalia, Hanford or Tulare area and are facing charges for domestic violence or have violated a restraining order, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens is here to help you. Criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens will work hard to defend your rights and help you fight your charges. Attorney Martens has handled thousands of cases over a span of ten years of criminal defense practice and can fight hard for your rights in court. Contact attorney Christopher Martens for experienced criminal defense counsel today. Contact our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at MartensLaw@gmail.com to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.

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