No-Contact Orders in Virginia
The most common condition that is imposed by a judge who grants bond in a domestic violence situation is that the accused has no contact with the alleged victim. Sometimes that can mean not only that the person cannot have contact with their significant other, but it may also mean that they are not able to return to their residence. In addition, there are pretrial services which a court may order an individual to comply with, which is essentially a type of probation where the person has to check in with a pretrial services officer or may have to submit to random urine screens to make sure that they are drug free, as well as following the other conditions that pretrial services. In order to ensure that all the necessary terms of the protective order are met, it can be helpful to consult with an experienced attorney who can walk you through the various requirements of your no-contact order and help make sure a violation does not unintentionally take place.
When No-Contact Orders May be Issued
A judge will issue a no-contact order in many domestic violence cases especially when they believe that the alleged victim is threatened by or in danger of the accused in the case.
No-contact orders in Virginia are a very expansive concept that includes not making phone calls, not seeing someone in person, not sending a text, not sending an email, and not sending a letter. It also includes indirect contact, so that means that it is actually a violation of the no-contact order for the accused to tell a friend to give the victim a message or a family member to give the victim a message. Even though there is not direct contact in a situation like that, doing it can nevertheless cause a person’s bond to be revoked for violating the no-contact order.
It is important to refrain from contacting the other person for two main reasons: when violating the contact order, the person may find themselves in contempt of court with the person’s bond revoked. In which case, the person will be sitting in jail waiting for trial. The other reason not to contact the alleged victim is that anything the person says to the alleged victim is something that can be repeated later in court. Even statements that are made innocently can be used as evidence of inconsistency or dishonesty or deception later on in a trial setting.
Civil Protective Orders
In Virginia, an accuser can ask for a civil protective order against someone who they alleged has either committed or threatened an act of family violence. The court that has the ability to enter a preliminary protective order for a period of 15 days and then ultimately, after another hearing enters a protective order for as much as two years because of the civil nature of this protective order, the person who has asked for it can ask the court to vacate it or withdraw it or nullify it at any time. In addition, the person who is the subject of the protective order also has the ability anytime within the period in which the order is active to ask the court to modify it or vacate it.
Consequences of Violating a No Contact order
No-contact orders in Virginia are taken seriously by local courts; there is a long history, unfortunately, of people breaking no-contact orders and doing things that are violent and in some cases extremely violent. If a person is not able to abide the court’s order to not have contact with the victim. In most cases, bond will be revoked and the accused will be incarcerated until the trial goes to court. If you have violated a no-contact order, get in touch with a Virginia lawyer who can inform you of what steps to take next.