In domestic violence cases, and other cases involving stalking or harassment of a particular individual, one of the consequences is often a no-contact order being issued. If the order is issued against you, this means that you cannot have any contact with the alleged victim. If you violate this order, you could face severe consequences including being charged with an entirely new crime for violating the no-contact order. If you plead guilty to or are convicted of this crime, you could face further penalties including additional fines and jail sentences.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our Salt Lake City no-contact order violation attorneys have years of experience successfully defending clients charged with this crime. We understand that these violations can sometimes occur accidentally and that there are always two sides to every story. Our lawyers will fight for you inside and outside the courtroom and work to bring your case to a positive and successful resolution. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 758-2287.
Definition of a No-Contact Order in Salt Lake City
A no-contact order is issued in conjunction with a criminal case that has to do with some sort of domestic violence or harassment. It is issued by the court and can be issued even against the wishes of the complainant. By contrast, a civil protective order is issued by the court in response to an application made by a particular individual.
If a no-contact order is issued, you will have to comply with all of its requirements. You are prohibited from harassing, telephoning, or otherwise contacting the victim, directly or indirectly. This means you cannot pass messages through a third-party. If you lived with the alleged victim, you will be forced to move out, and if you do not live there, you will be prohibited from entering their property. You will also be required to stay away from any other residence, school, or place of employment of the victim, or any place specified by the judge, such as places frequented by the victim or members of their family. The judge can also order any other conditions they find reasonably necessary to protect the alleged victim and their loved ones.
This order will likely remain in effect for the entirety of your criminal case, up and until your sentencing. At sentencing, the order can be converted into a long-term protective order if the person was a cohabitant, or a criminal no-contact order if the person was not a cohabitant. How long these orders last can vary, but they will typically not expire on their own. Rather, you will have to petition the court to release you from them.
If the court issues the order in spite of the victim’s wishes not to have it issued, a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC can file a motion with the court and petition to have the order dismissed. We can contact the victim’s advocate assigned to the case on your behalf so we can gauge how the victim is feeling without you violating your order. Even if the judge dismisses the order, however, this does not neccesarily mean that the corresponding charges will also be dismissed.
How a No-Contact Order Violation Case Works in Salt Lake City
Utah law requires police officers to make an arrest every time there is probable cause to believe that an order has been violated. This means that officers are typically able to make a warrantless arrest in these cases. After your arrest, you will be transported to the local police station where you will be booked and fingerprinted and your biographical information will be collected. Then you be placed in the holding cell or taken to the local jail where you will be held until your bail hearing can take place.
At your bail hearing, the judge will decide whether you must be held in jail without bail until the underlying criminal matter is resolved. Usually, the judge will either release you on your own recognizance, or without bail, or they will set bail. If they set bail, they typically set it based on the amount suggested in the Utah Uniform Bail Schedule. However, they do have the discretion to set it at a lower amount based on such factors as the severity of the crime, your potential flight risk, your criminal history, and your ties to the community. A skilled bail hearing attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC can argue for you to be released on little to no bail.
After this, your lawyer can try to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor if you wish. The deal may be combined with whatever deal is made in the underlying matter. If you wish to take your case to trial, our attorneys are ready and able to fight for your innocence. This may be an entirely separate trial or it may be merged with your trial for the underlying charge if that has yet to begin.
Penalties for Violating a No-Contact Order in Salt Lake City
Violating a no-contact order is typically a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. A second or subsequent violation of a no-contact order within 5 years of the first is charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. In addition to these hefty fines and length jail sentences, the violation could also have devastating effects on your underlying case, especially if you were looking to negotiate a plea deal, which the prosecutor is much less likely to do after such violations.
Call Our Skilled Salt Lake City No-Contact Order Violation Attorneys Today
Many violations of no-contact orders are unintentional or explainable, but the police and prosecution may not realize this when they charge you with the crime. Our veteran Salt Lake City no-contact order violation attorneys can work to make the court, and potentially a jury, see your side of the story. We will fight to get to get your charges downgraded or dismissed so that you can move on with your life. Call our office today at (801) 758-2287 for a free consultation.