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Avoiding a No-Contact Order

What is a no-contact order?

A no-contact order is an order that the judge may issue the first time you appear in court when you are charged with a crime. This order will prohibit you from having any contact whatsoever with the alleged victim while your case is pending.  If you live with the victim, the order may also prohibit you from going home or to any other place the alleged victim is likely to be.

What are the consequences of a no-contact order being issued? Is it a big deal?

Nearly every one of my clients who has been restrained by a no-contact order has been devastated by the effects. If you are restrained by a no-contact order, you will not be able to communicate with the alleged victim in any manner including in person, in writing, over the phone or through third parties. If you live in the same house or apartment as the victim, you will be forced to leave and find somewhere else to live. It usually takes several months to resolve a domestic violence case, which means you will be forced to live away from home for months. If you and the victim have children together, the situation becomes even more impossible in arranging and managing their daily lives. You must do everything in your power to avoid the issuance of a no-contact order against you.

When in the process does a no-contact order get issued?

A no-contact order can be issued at any stage of the proceedings against you. In nearly every case, however, the court will decide whether to issue a no-contact order against you at your first court appearance. Some jail courts will not consider an order when you are first in-custody, and you may still face the possibility of an order at your next court appearance. You are not out of the woods if you were not issued a no-contact order when you were in jail.

Can't the victim just tell the court that he or she does not want a no-contact order?

A victim can appear and request that a no-contact order not be issued. In the large majority of cases, however, these requests are ignored. The court will often ignore the victim's wishes and issue the order anyway justifying the order on the basis that the victim is abused and that the court needs to protect the victim from his or her self. The victim's input can be important, however, if you have an attorney who can assist in making the proper arguments to the court or the prosecutor. I have had great success in certain courts if I am contacted soon enough in the process.

What if I ignore the order? What are the consequences of violating the order

If you are caught violating a no-contact order you will be put in jail and most likely be charged with an additional crime punishable by up to a year in jail. It also becomes much more difficult to defend your original charge if you are caught violating an order. Even if the victim does not the police, many people are still caught violating an order when traveling with the other party in a vehicle that is pulled over for a traffic infraction like speeding. No matter where you are, if you are caught violating a no-contact order, you will be arrested and taken to jail. You should do everything in your power to avoid an order being issued against you so you are not put in this impossible situation.

Doesn't the court care that I will not be able to support the victim if an order is issued?

No. The court does not care how a no-contact order affects you or the victim. The court's only concern is that the victim is protected from being assaulted or abused in the future. The issue facing the court is a complicated one. It is important that the right arguments are made on your behalf and that the wrong arguments are avoided. Each court and judge is different, so it is important that you contact me at once so that we can best decide what steps to take based upon which judge will be deciding your case.

What should I do to avoid a no-contact order being issued?

The best way to avoid a no-contact order is to contact my office at once. I will be able to assess your situation and advise you what steps you should take to increase your chances of avoiding a no-contact order. I may also be able to talk to the alleged victim to answer questions or let them know who they can contact to make their wishes known. Certain courts also have victim advocates that have a serious influence on whether the judge decides to issue a no-contact order or not. I may need to make contact with the advocate to inform them of the true facts of your situation, not just the one-sided facts related by the police officer. Time is of the essence in this phase of the proceedings so you should contact my office immediately so I can be the most effective.

What if the Judge already issued an order? Can I get it lifted?

I defend domestic violence charges throughout the state. Each court has its own policies or "rules of thumb" for whether they will drop an order while a case is pending. Some courts will not even allow the issue to be heard. There are several courts throughout the state, however, that will consider dropping an order pretrial. If you are in one of these courts you may be able to have an order dropped if you follow my advice. Depending on your situation, I may be able to advise you to take certain steps to increase your chances of avoiding a no-contact order.

What makes you well suited to help me avoid a no-contact order?

I was a prosecutor for seven years. In that time I develped a strong reputation for prosecuting domestic violence cases. This background gives me credibility when I make an argument that a no-contact order is not necessary in your case. By contacting me as soon as possible I will have the best chance to help you avoid a no-contact order. Call me now.
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Law Office of Lance R. Fryrear - Lynnwood Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
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