What Happens If I Violate a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is intended to protect an alleged victim. Usually, they are issued in domestic violence cases. If a restraining order has been issued against you, it’s absolutely essential to follow it to the letter. Talk to a criminal defense attorney if you’re unclear about any information in the order of protection. You’ll also need to speak with your lawyer immediately if you think you’ve violated the order.
You may be arrested.
A violation of a restraining order is a criminal offense. You will be subject to arrest if you go to a home or place of business that you’re prohibited from being near, or if you violate any other requirement of the protection order. In Arizona, defendants can be charged with a class one misdemeanor for this offense. The official charge will be “interfering with judicial proceedings.” You will remain in custody until a judge makes a decision about your release.
You may be subjected to legal penalties, including jail time.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can defend you from the charge of interfering with judicial proceedings. However, you may be convicted of the class one misdemeanor. Under Arizona law, a class one misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail. You may also be required to pay a fine of up to $2,500, with a hefty surcharge.
You should explore other options.
It isn’t always easy to follow an order of protection to the letter. For instance, you might still be able to have visitation with your kids, but you cannot go near the other parent or the family home. Do not contact the other parent to make arrangements, since this would be a violation of the restraining order. Instead, contact your lawyer for advice. You should also speak with your lawyer about requesting a hearing to contest the order.
Janet Altschuler is a proven attorney with over 20 years of experience handling criminal law cases. When you need legal representation, you can count on Ms. Altschuler to be there for you throughout every step of the process. Call her Tucson law office at (520) 247-1789.