Do You Have a Restraining Order Against you?
Here’s What you Need to Know
Restraining orders can be a huge inconvenience and impact your life in many frustrating ways. If you have been issued one, there will be places you can longer go to and even loved ones you won’t be able to talk to anymore. However, a restraining order will not show up on a background check unless you violate it. A violation of a restraining order can have devastating consequences, resulting in jail time, fines, and criminal record.
What is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order or order of protection is a legal order from a court issued to prohibit contact from an individual to another. They are often a result of other criminal actions or threats of harm. A restraining order can be put into place for domestic violence, harassment, and stalking. However, they can be enacted for a variety of reasons to protect one party from another.
A restraining orders can be designed to prevent any form of contact, whether is it in person or virtual. An individual can be directed to stay away from any place the other person frequents, such as their home or work. That means if they are a waiter or waitress at your favorite restaurant, you won’t even be able to dine there anymore. Communication via Facebook, phone, text messaging, social media, e-mail, and other forms of virtual communication can be forbidden.
What Happens if I Violate a Restraining Order?
Since restraining orders are issued to protect the safety and well being of an individual, they are taken very seriously in New Jersey. The courts are quick to believe if an order has not been followed and are not going to give the accuser the benefit of the doubt. I have seen many cases where an individual was charged with violating a restraining order even when the violation happened accidentally or the other person initiated the contact.
Restraining orders will often include a long list of things you can and cannot do. If you violate any of the conditions, you can be charged with criminal contempt. A conviction is punishable by jail time as well as fines. For a subsequent violation, the minimum jail time is 30 days.
If you violate a restraining order that was a result of domestic violence, the consequences are more severe. You will be charged with a crime in the fourth degree and face up to an eighteen-month sentence.
Restraining orders are no joke and should be taken seriously. If you have been accused of violating the terms of an order of protection, contact The Law Office of Zapicchi & Liller. Our experienced team of attorneys will fight for your rights and help you avoid jail time. Call us today at (609) 291-9500