With the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it’s fair to say that the last few months have been unique. Along with the health and safety concerns that you have for loved ones, you may be experiencing some additional challenges. Most Americans have work-related concerns. Furthermore, with lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders issued across the country, there can be heightened emotions, stress, and anxiety within the home.
Unfortunately, any of the above factors can trigger conflicts, including a domestic violence incident. If you have been accused of domestic violence, consult a criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg. In this article, an attorney with the law office of Russo Pelletier & Sullivan will discuss no contact orders in Florida and your legal rights.
What Is a No Contact Order?
A no contact order is commonly imposed as a condition of bond or “Release on Recognizance” after an arrest for a domestic violence offense. A no contract order is usually phrased as a blanket order that prevents you from having any form of contact, directly or indirectly with the alleged victim. No contact orders are commonly issued in criminal cases involving domestic violence, battery, or other crimes that exhibit violence or aggressive behavior, especially when the alleged victim is a loved one or family member. No contact orders are issued with the intent to prohibit future violence or the threat of violence toward an alleged victim.
If you have been issued a no contact order, you have been prohibited from having contact with the alleged victim. This can include direct or indirect contact. If you have received a no contact order, you cannot have in-person contact with the alleged victim, including visiting their home, workplace, or places you know they frequent. You cannot have other forms of communication either, like texting, calling, or communicating with them through social media. Even if the alleged victim initiates contact, an individual that was issued a no contact order should ignore this communication as the order remains in effect. ONLY the court can modify or lift a no contact order.
What Happens If I Violate This Order?
Violation of a no contact order can result in serious consequences, including being charged with a new first degree misdemeanor, if the no contact order arose out of a domestic violence crime. Multiple charges can be filed based on each separate incident of contact, as each incident is considered a new violation of the no contact order. With multiple violations, the criminal penalty can increase significantly and result in jail or even prison time and the loss of civil rights. Alternatively, you could face be held iin contempt of court if you violate this order.
Can the No Contact Order Be Lifted or Modified?
Many domestic violence allegations stem from a relatively minor incident or misunderstanding. Perhaps an alleged victim called the police to calm a situation down with no intention to see the other party arrested. In other cases, the accused was actually acting in self defense. Sometimes after a no contact order is issued, the alleged victim will want to lift the no contact order. This happens for a variety of reasons. They may have reflected on their role in the incident that led to the charges. Perhaps they know their partner or spouse has been unfairly accused of a serious crime or they want them to continue to participate in raising their children.
Lifting a no contact order can be a major step towards clearing your name. If you have recently been accused of domestic violence or issued a no contact order from a Florida court, it’s critical that you don’t violate this court order. Violating a no contact order is a serious offense in Florida. A defense attorney in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan will listen to your concerns, assess the details of your case, and assist you with seeking to have a court order lifted or modified.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.