Virginia Protective Order Violations
It is incredibly important to follow the provisions of a Virginia protective order, because the consequences of a violation can be severe. Any time a person has been ordered by a court to stay away from someone else, it means that the court’s contempt powers are in play.
It also can have an effect on a person’s bond if they are on bond for a criminal charge, which is happening at the same time. Further, a violation of a protective order is a separate criminal offense carrying a mandatory term of incarceration. With these things in mind, any accusation of a violation should be handled with the assistance of a protective order attorney in Virginia.
Arrests For a Violation
In most cases, if a person has contact with the victim after being ordered not to do so, a judge will revoke the person’s bond and will hold the person in jail until their criminal case is heard.
If there is no criminal case going on, the judge still has the ability to imprison someone or find the person for a small or a significant amount of time in consequence of that. It is almost never the case that a protective order is violated in Virginia without consequences that include active incarceration.
Severity of a Violation
It is a crime to violate a civil protective order in Virginia. If a person violates that order, they can be charged with a separate criminal offense. It gives the person a criminal record if convicted, which can include criminal penalties, such as active incarceration.
If a person commits a crime in the course of violating a protective order, it is a serious matter. Under some circumstances, it is a separate felony offense.
Most courts take extremely seriously the idea that a person who has been told to stay away must do so. The concern is that the person is going to commit a crime. If the person does commit a crime, it is a scenario where some of the harshest punishments can be handed out, including active incarceration and in some cases very significant amounts of active incarceration.
Committing the Crime vs. Order Violation
It is difficult to say whether committing the original crime or violating the protective order is more aggravating. It is the combination of the two things together that creates such a problem. Anytime someone is guilty of an underlying offense, which is a crime of violence, it is something that a court can have a lot of trouble with and impose severe penalties.
At the same time, if a court had enough concern about a person doing something violent that entered a protective order in the first place, then it finds that its fears were justified because the person commits a crime notwithstanding being told to stay away. That is something that in almost every case is going to amplify penalties to be severe.
Steps to Take
If a person has requested a protective order and believes someone has violated that order, that person has a couple of options. One is to contact law enforcement and let them know. Sometimes the person will be arrested for violating the protective order.
The person also has the ability to go back to the court that issued that order and ask the court to find that person in contempt. There are a number of ways to address that once the order has been entered. An individual may face a number of consequences for violating a Virginia protective order.
There are numerous kinds of evidence that can be used to challenge the government’s evidence that a protective order has been violated. In most cases, the evidence against a person is going to include witness testimony, phone logs, emails, or even texts.
Once it is known what the government is saying a person did to violate the order, attorneys can develop the strategy to challenge that, whether it means getting text records, phone records, or email records of their own to look at what evidence is available to challenge what is being alleged. In many cases, it is possible to refute what is being said by showing, for example, that the date and time that a person alleges a phone call was made that there is no call record.
Contacting a Lawyer
If a person has been accused of violating a protective order and a judge finds that the government has proved that, they are almost certainly looking at active jail time. The person might even be looking at significant active jail time. There is always a consequence to a conviction in a case like that, thus, it is critically important to contact an attorney as soon as the person knows that they have been charged or even the merely alleged and being investigated.