No Contact Order Violation in Seattle
A court can issue a no contact order for a variety of reasons, and the specific conditions can vary. If there has been a no contact order issued against you, it is extremely important that you read all of the documents very carefully to understand what are your ordered not to do and then abide by it! If you are caught violating the order, you will be facing a gross misdemeanor charge, and in some instances, even a Class C Felony.
Often, a no contact order is put in place in conjunction with a criminal case. For example, if you are charged with assault, the judge typically will order you to not have any contact with the alleged victim. This can be especially problematic if you lived with the alleged victim. You will have to leave your residence and find a new place to live. In other instances, the protected party can petition the court, asking for a restraining order against you due to your prior conduct. This is not a criminal charge but certainly could lead to one if you violated it. A restraining order by itself may also cause you some problems with background checks.
Normally, a no contact order prohibits any and all contact. This covers not just physical contact or in-person communication but also telephone calls, emails, text messages, and even messages given by third parties. It is also important to understand that the restriction only goes one way, meaning the other person can text you, but you cannot respond. If the person calls you, do not pick up or hang up upon discovering who is on the line. If you are walking down the street and you suddenly notice the protected person is walking towards you, you have the obligation to turn around and get out of there as soon and as quickly as possible.
You must also understand that the judge is the person in control of the no contact order. Even if the protected party invites you over or tells you it is ok to call them, the no contact order is still in place. Often, a judge will place a no contact order upon a defendant during a domestic violence case, but the two parties still want to remain together. Countless people have been caught violating the order when they are driving together and the car gets pulled over for a traffic violation. Again, even if the protected person wanted you to be there, it is still a criminal violation.
A no contact order violation rises to a felony if the “contact” with the protected party is an assault. Even if your assault would normally be classified as assault 4°, it would actually be filed as a felony due to the no contact order. You could also be facing a felony charge if you have two or more prior convictions for violating the no contact order.
If you have questions about a no contact order violation that you are currently facing, we're here to answer them. Call the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jason S. Newcombe today. During your free consultation, we'll let you know what your options are.