How to Get a No Contact Order Lifted in Domestic Violence Cases
Why Do I Have a Domestic Violence No Contact Order?
In many Pinellas County criminal domestic violence cases, the judge will often put a Domestic Violence No Contact Order in place in connection with a defendant’s release from jail. This order prohibits any contact with the alleged victim by any means, either direct or indirect (through a third party). Sometimes, the court is motivated to order “No Contact” between the parties because the victim states that he or she is still in fear of the accused. In other situations, the court will order “No Contact” based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the charge itself. However, it is also quite common for the court to order that there be “No Contact” in an abundance of caution, even when there has been no direct feedback or request from the alleged victim in the case.
What are the Penalties for Violating a No Contact Order?
Judges take the violation of a domestic violence No Contact order very seriously. Violating a no contact order is usually seen as a “slap in the face” to the authority of the criminal justice system. If the court or the prosecutor learns that a “No Contact” order has been violated, it will often cause an individual to have their bond or R.O.R. revoked and a warrant issued for their arrest with a “No Bond Hold.” Such a bond status indicates that release from the jail on a bond is impossible. Additionally, breaking a “No Contact” order constitutes a new and separate criminal charge of “Violation of Pre-Trial Release Conditions.” As a result, the prosecutor can add an additional criminal count to the already pending domestic violence case.
How Does the Court Know if You Violated the Domestic Violence No Contact Order?
The violation of a No Contact order can come to the judge’s attention in several different ways. Perhaps the most direct method is when an alleged victim makes a complaint directly to the police, the judge, or the State Attorney’s Office that they have been contacted by a defendant who has a “No Contact” order in place as part of a condition of their release. In these situations, the alleged victim may show the judge or the prosecutor text messages, emails, or voice mails from the defendant. Another relatively common situation that we have seen arise, occurs when the alleged victim voluntarily, and of their own initiative, contacts the accused and arranges to meet. However, a situation then develops where the police get called. A third scenario that can also occur is that a family member or friend who disapproves of the relationship can “blow the whistle,” even though the defendant and the alleged victim want contact and are communicating amicably with each other.
As the above examples show, there are any number of possible ways for a violation of the “No Contact” order to come to the court’s attention, which can in turn, lead to very serious consequences. For this reason, it is imperative that you get the “No Contact” order lifted should both parties want to communicate and repair the relationship.
Lifting a Domestic Violence No Contact Order
— Lawfully Returning Home —
If a “no contact” order has been put in place in your Pinellas County domestic battery case, we can go to court on your behalf and request to have the order modified. If the “motion to modify conditions of release” is granted, you will be allowed to once again have lawful contact with the alleged victim.
- Getting the order modified is essential in avoiding a subsequent arrest for violating the “no contact” provision.
- It may also be viewed as a first step toward reconciliation between the parties.
Take Steps to Remove the “No Contact” Order
Our office can schedule a hearing before the Domestic Violence County Court Judge. This will take place in courtroom Division “R” at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center. Notice of the hearing is sent to the alleged victim in your case. We will attend the hearing with you and request that the Judge modify your original conditions of release to delete the “No Contact” provision.
Will I be Able to Move Back Home?
If the Judge grants our motion his order may permit full and unrestricted “lawful” contact. This means that you would be permitted to move back in the residence you previously shared with the other party. It does require, however, that you not violate any laws. In the event you should be rearrested or charged with a new offense, the Judge could of course reimpose the “no contact” provision.
Having My Lawyer Quickly Schedule a Court Hearing
We will contact the judge assigned to the domestic violence division and request an expedited hearing be set immediately on your motion for contact. At the motion to lift the no contact order, we will provide the judge with information from the alleged victim, by eliciting testimony that addresses the following concerns:
- Is the victim voluntarily appearing in court or are they being pressured by someone to support the motion to modify?
- Is the victim afraid of the Defendant?
- Is the victim in fear of future violence should the Defendant be granted the right to move back home?
- Does the victim want full and unrestricted contact, or contact limited only to telephone calls or e-mail?
Could Having the “No Contact” Order Lifted Help My Case?
Being able to have contact would enable you to ask the alleged victim the following types of questions:
- Were they truthful when they gave their original account to the police?
- Would they like to speak to your attorney regarding the facts and circumstances of the case?
- Would they like to speak to your attorney to let him know how they currently feel about the upcoming state attorney’s inquiry as to whether further prosecution is appropriate?
In the event the alleged victim expresses a desire to not have you prosecuted, our office can prepare appropriate documents for their signature which can then be hand delivered to the Pinellas County Assistant State Attorney assigned to your case.
We’re St. Petersburg / Clearwater Attorneys Who We Can Help
Call our office and we can discuss with you the specific facts of your case and the best method to expedite your efforts to return to your home and your family.