Protective orders, restraining orders, and no contact orders are some of the most confusing, and potentially problematic orders a judge can issue – particularly if you are the Respondent. People frequently make the mistake of not taking these orders seriously, or failing to take the time to fully understand the terms of the order, only to find out the hard way how serious the court takes these orders. If you are the Respondent and a judge has already signed one of these orders, or you have been notified that a request for one has been filed, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What Is a No Contact Order?
As the name implies, a “no contact” order is a court order, signed by a judge or magistrate, that orders the Respondent to refrain from having contact with the Petitioner or victim. The extent to which the no contact order applies, and the type of contact prohibited, can vary and will be determined by the judge.
Is a Restraining Order or a Protective Order the Same Thing?
The terms “restraining order,” “protective order,” and “no contact” order are frequently used interchangeably; however, there is typically a slight difference between them. First, it is important to note that the terms and definitions used in one state may vary somewhat from the terms and definitions used in another state. As a general rule, however, the primary difference between the terms is that a no contact order is usually issued in a criminal case whereas a restraining order or protective order is sought in civil court.
Ex Parte Orders
A protective (or restraining) order is typically sought by an alleged victim of domestic violence. These types or orders are somewhat unique in our judicial system because they represent one of the few times in which judges routinely grant orders without allowing the opposing party an opportunity to be heard. In legal terms this is referred to as an “ex parte” order. Because of the alleged urgency of the situation, and the possibility that the Petitioner could be seriously injured or even killed if the petition is not granted, judges will frequently sign these petitions. The order, hf owever, is only a temporary order that is good for a brief period of time, usually 14 to 21 days. A hearing is scheduled at the time the order is issued and the Respondent is served with a copy of the order. At the hearing, both sides may present evidence and/or testimony. The judge will then decide whether to make the order permanent or vacate the order altogether.
Pre-Trial Release and Post-Conviction
A no contact order is usually what the order is called when it is issued in relation to a pending criminal case or as part of a sentence for a conviction. A defendant in a criminal case wherein a victim was allegedly harmed (rape, burglary, kidnapping, assault etc.) may be prohibited from contacting the alleged victim as part of his/her pre-trial release conditions. That same prohibitions may remain in place as part of the defendant’s sentencing if convicted.
What Are the Terms of a No Contact Order?
The terms of a no contact order can vary, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case or situation; however, some areas usually covered include:
- Stay a specific number of feet away from the Petitioner/victim
- Stay away from the ’s/ home and/or work
- Do not telephone the Respondent/victim
- Do not contact the Respondent’s children.
Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help If I Violated the Order?
If you have violated no contact order you should take that violation seriously as it could land you in jail. Violating a no contact order is actually its own separate criminal offense in most states, including Nebraska. If you have been accused of violating a no contact order, contact an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your options.
If you have been charged with a crime in the State of Nebraska it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.