When you are charged with a crime of Domestic Violence, one of the first things that the Judge or magistrate who is setting your conditions of release, or bond, will do is order that you have no contact with the victim or other prosecuting witness in the case. This means that you can have absolutely no contact at all, either directly or indirectly, which could lead to additional financial hardship, problems with childcare or raising your children, or other problems. If you have been charged with a crime of Domestic Violence call Jetton and Meredith today to speak with our experienced criminal defense team to help you out. This article will seek to answer some very important questions about these cases and the no-contact orders that are usually involved in them.
Is this a restraining order?
First, it is important to know that this is NOT a domestic violence protective order or DVPO under NCGS Chapter 50-B. So, while it is a kind of restraining order it is not the typical restraining order that is common in domestic violence cases in North Carolina. It is also not an exclusive order, just because the Judge in your criminal case may have entered a no-contact order as a provision of your conditions of release, it does not guarantee that the victim can get a DVPO, and it does not mean that they automatically get one.
What happens if I violate this order?
There are two main consequences you need to worry about if you are found in violation of this kind of no-contact order. First, the state’s prosecutors can ask that your bond be revoked and you would have to go back to jail for the original charge. Second, violation of this order can lead to being charged with other crimes such as stalking or violating the terms of the bond. If your bond is revoked the court has the ability to either issue a new and higher bond, which would mean that you have to pay additional money to be released or in certain circumstances, the court may hold you until your case is disposed of.
Can this order be changed or removed?
Yes, your attorney can file for a modification of the conditions of your release and argue to the Judge that the no-contact provision is removed. These hearings are often contested by the state’s prosecutor and it is very important that you have a knowledgeable and skilled attorney who can articulate for you why the no-contact order should be removed. It is important to know that even if the victim or prosecuting witness wants to have contact with you, it does not guarantee that the Judge will lift the order.
The Victim is reaching out to me, what should I do?
First, you should immediately contact your attorney, this can be used as evidence in your case or in a future bond hearing. Second, you should not respond. While they may want to have contact with you, as long as there is a no-contact order in place, every time you have contact, whether they initiated it or not, you are putting yourself at risk. It is also important to know that like the DVPO under Chapter 50-B, the no-contact order in a bond or in your conditions of release is a one-way street.
If you have a DV case pending the no-contact provision of the bond is one of the first things that should be taken care of. If you have one of these orders in place and want it to be removed contact the criminal defense team at Jetton and Meredith today to speak to an attorney.