I’ve started a video series on Facebook detailing things that you should know about court and the criminal justice system. One of my recent videos talked about personal relationships and protective orders. A synopsis of the video is available below. Check out my video series and other information by following me on Facebook.
The specific issue that I want to address is protective orders where you’re in a relationship – marriage, mother/daughter, sister/brother, whatever the case may be – and you make up with the person and you want to continue the relationship, but there is still a court order in place. And I know that you want to resolve your interpersonal issues, and the court knows that too. But, unfortunately, this court order is still in effect. And what that means is that if you violate this court order, you are getting arrested for a Class D Felony, and it’s a five year exposure.
What I see a lot of the time is a situation where two people are in a relationship, they get into an argument, and one person gets arrested. Then there is a full no contact protective order issued. But the couple makes up and get back together. Then, the police get called for a separate and totally unrelated incident, but see that the two people are in each other’s presence. What will happen is, the person subject to the protective order will get arrested for violating the protective order. When I have a client in this situation, they oftentimes say, “well, my partner told me that it was ok and they were going to drop the protective order”. It doesn’t matter what the partner said. The court doesn’t care. That person doesn’t have the authority to tell someone else to violate a court order.
Another issue that I see is when the couple makes up, even if the police don’t get involved in the future. Yes, you may have made up with your partner, but the protective order is still in place. If your partner gets mad at you or wants something from you, they can say, “I have all of this evidence against you. I have text messages and phone calls showing that you contacted me when you weren’t supposed to”. Now they can go to the police, and they have all of this hanging over your head. They can hold it over you and essentially blackmail you into doing whatever they want. And if you don’t do what they want, they can get you arrested.
The unfortunate thing about this is that you put yourself in this position. Do not do this! If you have a court order, abide by that court order. Have your lawyer file a motion to modify the protective order. If that other party truly wants that protective order modified, they will come to court in support of that modification. And then once it’s modified, you can do as you please. But do not do this until the court order is modified and you are legally allowed to contact and see the other party.
The problem is that these relationships are emotional. I get it. You love this person. This person is your husband or your wife or your sister or your brother. You want to make things better and you want to get that relationship back on track. But when you do this, you are the one taking the risk of a felony conviction and jail exposure. Do not take that risk.
As always, you can contact me at [email protected]ruaneattorneys.com for help with a protective order or another criminal issue.