What if an Alleged Abuser Violates a Restraining Order
When an alleged victim has a restraining order, order of protection or conditions of bond prohibiting contact against an alleged abuser, that person relies upon it to help keep him or her safe from additional abuse or perceived abuse, which means it fills a very important role in that person’s life. If the person named in the restraining order has violated the terms included, it can leave you feeling violated as well. All it takes is for the alleged victim to make an allegation of a violation and an investigation can begin. If you’re the subject of a restraining order, knowing your rights is key, and an experienced South Carolina criminal defense attorney can help.
The Terms of the Restraining Order
A restraining order or Order of Protection will specifically state what the other party is not allowed to do, and if they exceed the stated limitations – whether intentionally or unintentionally – they can face a restraining order violation. Additionally, sometimes there are conditions of bond that prohibit contact with the alleged victim. Common prohibitions include:
- Having any contact the alleged victim or members of their family – this includes direct contact or contact through a third party with no legitimate purpose and it does not matter if the contact is face to face, via phone call, via email or text or through social media
- Coming within a certain distance of alleged victim’s home, school, or their place of employment
- Threatening the alleged victim or any of their family members
- Returning to the residence they shared with the alleged victim
- Possessing a firearm or ammunition
Temporary restraining orders, which are often issued in immediate response to domestic violence calls – when the accused may not be present – are generally in effect for 15 days. Final restraining orders, on the other hand, can be issued for from six months to a year, and they can also be extended.
If the party named in your restraining order violates the conditions, it’s a criminal offense for which legal action can be taken. While the fines and penalties for violating a restraining order vary according to the involved circumstances, the basics include the following:
- Violation of a temporary restraining order can lead to fines of up to $500 and jail time of up to 30 days.
- Violation of a final restraining order can lead to fines of up to $1,500 and jail time of up to a year.
- Violation of a restraining order that involves visiting a domestic violence shelter can lead to a prison sentence of up to three years.
- Violation of a restraining order that involves possessing a dangerous weapon can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years.
Violations of the “no-contact” provisions of a bond can result in the bond being revoked and the alleged abuser remaining incarcerated until his or her charges have been resolved.
The social consequences of such charges, because they are a matter of public record, can also be harsh – with the potential of negatively affecting all the following:
- The accused’s ability to obtain a job or advance their career
- The accused’s ability to rent a home or obtain a home loan
- The accused’s ability to further their education with a federal student loan
- The accused’s overall social standing
Reach Out to an Experienced South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you’ve been accused of violating a restraining order, it’s a serious legal matter that requires serious legal attention. The focused South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Brad C. Richardson are committed to skillfully employing the full scope of their impressive legal experience and insight in the determined pursuit of your case’s best possible resolution. Your legal rights are important, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 843-488-4321 for more information about what we can do to help you today.