If you have found yourself being charged with a Domestic Violence crime, you have likely been subjected to obey a No-Contact Order. It is important to know what the court-imposed No-Contact Order entails and what it means for you. No-Contact Orders are taken seriously by the Court and should also be taken seriously by defendants. If you are found to be in violation of one of these orders, you could be putting yourself at risk for even further penalties, as well as giving the prosecution leverage in the case to find you guilty. It is extremely difficult to be unable to have contact with a relative, significant other or other close household or family member, which is why having an attorney on your side can be beneficial to help reunite you with them and return to your home. There are certain things a private attorney to benefit you if you currently have a Domestic Violence charge pending against you and are under a No-Contact Order. Whether or not you are guilty or innocent, Domestic Violence accusations and violations of court orders relating to them are very serious, and it is paramount to have someone at your side to protect you from the harshness of the Florida Courts.
What is a No-Contact Order?
No-Contact Orders, or restraining orders, are put in place by the Court as one of the several conditions of a defendant’s pretrial release from jail. They are meant to serve as a way of legally protecting believed victims from violence, intimidation and/or harassment. They remain active either until the pending case has concluded or until they are lifted or modified by the Court. These orders bar accused persons from having any kind of contact with supposed victims, whether direct or indirect. Direct contact methods include some of the following:
- Text messaging
- Meeting with
- Messaging online and/or through social media
- Being within a certain distance of their home or workplace
There are some common misunderstandings about communication between defendants and purported victims, which can be quite detrimental. One thing that is often thought is that if contact between a defendant and a supposed victim is made through a third party, like a family member or a friend, that it is not a violation of the No-Contact Order. However, this is considered to be indirect contact, and is strictly prohibited. It is also often thought that if the supposed victim initiates contact with the implicated individual, that it is acceptable to engage in contact. This is absolutely not true, and even if the presumed victim initiates contact, defendants must refrain from engaging. The responsibility of abiding by the terms of a No-Contact Order is in the hands of the defendant.
What Happens If I Violate a No-Contact Order?
Violating a No-Contact Order is classified in Florida as a first-degree misdemeanor. Further, several violations could lead to even more severe felony charges being brought against you. Though it may seem like the contact will never be discovered or is not really a big deal, violating the No-Contact Order ultimately causes much more trouble. The penalties of violating these orders can range from inconvenient to absolutely dire. If someone is found to be in violation of a No-Contact order, there can be consequences, such as:
- Additional criminal charges
- Fines up to $1,000
- Lessened credibility in proving innocence
- Longer time away from family, significant other, etc.
- More money spent on alternative housing
- Bond revocation
- Jailtime for up to one (1) year
- Loss of child custody
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Because of the damage a violation of a No-Contact Order can do, it is in your best interest to refrain from contacting the alleged victim and, instead, reaching out to a knowledgeable and accomplished attorney. An attorney who is experienced in handling Domestic Violence matters can help you look at your options and to get back in contact with the person who the No-Contact Order has prevented you from seeing and communicating with. A qualified Domestic Violence defense attorney has the capacity to reach out to the supposed victim in order to discuss the situation with them. If an alleged victim has a desire to have contact with the defendant, an attorney can convey that desire to the prosecution and to the Court. An attorney can prepare a Declination of Prosecution Affidavit. The affidavit is then sent to the purported victim. Once the presumed victim has signed and notarized the document, the attorney will file it with the Court and forward it to the Office of the State Attorney. This is a significant step in demonstrating that the alleged victim would like to be reunified with the person being accused and that they are not fearful of them. There are also additional ways in which an attorney can be very useful in these cases. Since No-Contact Orders are mandated by the Court, the Court also will need to grant permission for any contact to resume. This can be achieved by either a Motion for Modification of Conditions of Pretrial Release or Motion to Lift/Modify No Contact Order being filed by your attorney. The types of motions will generally assert that:
- Both parties wish to resume contact
- The alleged victim is not fearful of the defendant
- The alleged victim is not afraid of or expectant of future violence
- The alleged victim’s wish to lift the No-Contact Order is of their own accord
- The type of contact both parties would like to have (consensual contact, contact via telephone, contact for purposes of childcare and visitation, digital contact, nonviolent contact, third party contact, unlimited contact, etc.)
Why Choose Parikh Law?
Even a small misunderstanding or slip-up can be perilous in a Domestic Violence case. Florida Courts are highly concerned with protecting victims of Domestic Violence and will not hesitate to punish anyone who is found to have violated a No-Contact Order. Because of this, it is highly imperative to seek representation by an attorney who knows how to effectively navigate Domestic Violence cases. During his time at the Orange County Office of the State Attorney, Attorney Parikh received specialized training and invaluable knowledge while working as a Domestic Violence prosecutor. The things he learned in his many years at the State have not been forgotten. Today, Mr. Parikh continues to incorporate all he learned while working as an Orange County Domestic Violence prosecutor to defend his clients with an unmatched fervor. Of the many Domestic Violence cases Mr. Parikh has handled over the years, a substantial number of them have resulted in dismissal of charges or reduction of charges. At Parikh Law, P.A., we are proud to assist the people of Central Florida, with compassion, authenticity and an unwavering devotion to justice. We stand by the belief that our clients deserve to be listened to, informed, and always respected. If you find yourself facing any type of Domestic Violence charges, it is time to take action. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We will take the time to assess your specific situation and assist you in devising strategies for lifting or modifying the pending No-Contact Order. We truly look forward to helping you get through this stressful time in your life.