How to Handle Your No Contact Order and Your Domestic Violence Chargehttp://leppardlaw.com/wp-content/themes/osmosis/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Joel Leppard Joel Leppard http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/4de5a5d3898121729a83f9e413ca7894?s=96&d=mm&r=g
When there is a no contact order placed against you, it is an extremely difficult time. Here are some frequently asked questions and helpful answers for you. If you are ever unsure about anything, contact your attorney and ask for his/her advice.
There is a no contact order in place against me, what does that mean?
A “no contact order” means you are prohibited from having any contact with the alleged victim, directly, indirectly. You cannot see or visit the alleged victim, you cannot call, you cannot write or e-mail the alleged victim. You cannot drive by their residence. Contact through a third party can also be a violation of the court’s order. Even if you attend the same church, temple, mosque, school, or other function that the alleged victim is attending, you should not go to that event. No contact means no contact.
What happens if I violate the order?
You will be arrested and have a higher bond set, or possibly have no bond. You may also have additional charges brought against you for violation of a domestic Violence order or injunction.
How will anybody know if I violate the order?
There are many ways the court can determine if you have violated a no contact order. Eyewitness testimony, phone records, social media and voice mail can provide evidence that you have violated an order. Letters and e-mails can also be shown as evidence. The burden of proof can be considered relatively low.
What if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges?
The State of Florida makes a decision to proceed with the charges or not. The alleged victim can contact the State Attorney’s or an attorney to file a Declination of Prosecution, which is the first step in resolving the case in your favor. The order will still be in place and will not be removed until the case is over or the court modifies it. Any modification of this condition requires a motion before the court and must be filed by your attorney.
Will I violate the no contact order if the alleged victim invites or initiates contact?
Yes. If the order states that there is to be no contact and you communicate back with the alleged victim, you will be in violation of that order.
Will I violate the order if we continue to live together?
Yes. If the order states that you must maintain separate residences or must not have contact with the alleged victim, then you are in violation of the order if you continue to live together. Even if the alleged victim invites you to come home, you will violate the order. Only the judge can change or dismiss an order.
What if I own the house where we both live? Do I have to move out of my own house?
Not necessarily. If you own the house or lease (meaning that your name is the only name on the deed or lease), you will need to ask your attorney to have the conditions of your release modified so you may safely and legally get the alleged victim out of your home or pick up your belongings. Make sure you ask your attorney or the judge for this special condition, but if you do not own the house or lease, you must not ask to have the alleged victim removed.
Is there a violation of the order if I am required to vacate the residence, but I move in with the alleged victim at another address?
Yes. You must not move in with him or her at another address.
What if the alleged victim continues to come and see me at my place of business or new home?
Politely refuse to see or speak with the alleged victim and immediately contact your attorney. Go to a separate room or part of the building and shut the door. Have a co-worker or friend politely tell the alleged victim that there is an order in place, that you can have no contact with the alleged victim, and to please leave the premises. You can also file a petition to have an injunction against the alleged victim. You can call the Domestic Relations Division of the Orange County Clerk’s Office at (407) 836-2054 to get more information on filing an injunction.
What if I want to see my children and the alleged victim is the one living with them?
You must go through the court system to get visitation of your children when there is a no contact order in place.
How can we get the order removed?
Once the case is resolved, all conditions of your release are no longer enforceable. You may request your attorney to file a motion with the court to modify the no contact order.
What if the court has ordered no-hostile contact?
No-hostile contact means you can see or visit the alleged victim, you can call, you can write or e-mail the alleged victim. You may also share the same residence. You cannot have any contact with the alleged victim that rises to the level of violence or hostile behavior. The alleged victim will largely get to decide what is and is not hostile contact.