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Restraining Orders Vs No Contact Orders



If you are the target of violence, under the threat of abuse or sexual assault, or someone is stalking you, know that there are means of protection available that the law can grant. However, understanding which type of protection you should obtain and which will provide the safety you need is essential.

The attorneys at Richards and Colburn specialize in criminal, domestic violence, and divorce law and can help with questions related to protection orders. If you are in need of protection, it is crucial to understand the differences between a restraining order and a no-contact order. Our attorneys can explain the nuances and help you determine which one is best suited for your case, ensuring that you receive the protection you need. We will provide you with the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the complexities of legal proceedings, ensuring that your rights and safety are protected. This includes understanding the difference between a restraining order and a no-contact order.


What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a legal document issued by a court to protect an individual from harm or harassment by another person. It is typically filed during civil or divorce proceedings and serves as a legal means to prevent one party from engaging in harmful behavior toward the other. The order can include specific provisions prohibiting the restrained person from contacting, harassing, or coming within a certain distance of the protected person or their property.

Restraining orders are often sought in cases of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, or other situations where an individual feels threatened or unsafe. They can be obtained through a court hearing where the protected person presents evidence of the other person's harmful behavior, or in some cases, through an emergency order that is issued immediately if there is an imminent threat of harm.

Violating a restraining order can result in serious legal consequences, including fines, jail time, or even criminal charges. It is important for both parties to understand the terms of the order and abide by them to avoid further legal issues.


What is a No Contact Order?

A no-contact order is a legal document that prohibits an individual from contacting or communicating with another person. These orders are commonly used to protect victims of domestic violence, abuse, stalking, or the threat of abuse or sexual assault. A court issues them and can be enforced through criminal prosecution if violated.

The victim or law enforcement typically requests a no-contact order on behalf of the victim. The order specifies the terms and conditions of the prohibition, including restrictions on physical proximity, phone calls, text messages, emails, social media, or any other form of communication.

The purpose of a no-contact order is to provide the victim with a sense of safety and security and to prevent further harm or harassment so they can move forward with their lives. It is important to note that violating a no-contact order is a serious offense that can result in criminal charges, including fines and jail time.


How Are Restraining Orders and No Contact Orders Different?

A restraining order is in effect while civil, divorce, or legal separation proceedings are pending and will end when proceedings are terminated. A no-contact order is only in effect for one year and has to be renewed when the year is up if needed.

If one party ignores a restraining order, law enforcement cannot help in this case because it's not a criminal matter. Instead, restraining orders are civil matters, which means the wronged party will have to file a motion for civil contempt of court in the same court where the restraining order was issued. If the judge finds that contempt of court by violating the restraining order has occurred, the offending party can receive penalties, such as jail time, fines, or both.

Violations of no-contact orders are criminal matters, and law enforcement personnel can immediately get involved and arrest the offending party without a warrant. However, the offender may be eligible to post bond and be released until the trial.

If it is the first offense, the person who violated the no-contact order will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The offender can be sentenced up to 11 months and 29 days, fined up to $2500, or both. Any other violations of the order constitute a separate offense. Also, there would be additional charges and sentences if the offender committed other crimes while violating the no-contact order.


Let Richards and Colburn Order of Protection Attorneys Assist You

If someone makes you feel unsafe or you experience violence and abuse from another person, the law can provide some security with orders of protection.

At Richards and Colburn, our experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal process of obtaining an order of protection. We understand the emotional and physical toll that abuse and violence can take, and we are dedicated to fighting for your safety and well-being.

Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards securing your peace of mind.

Let us be your advocates and provide you with the protection and support you deserve.



Image credit: Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock

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