If you have been named in a protective order issued in Indiana, you must abide by the stipulations set forth in that order. Otherwise, you run the serious risk of being sentenced to time in jail, in addition to fines, community service, and other consequences. This is true regardless of the reason the order was sought.
Let’s take a closer look at these orders, why they are issued, and what happens if they are violated.
The Issuing of Protective Orders
A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is issued against someone who has committed domestic violence or sexual assault. It is intended to keep that individual away from the victim. There are two types of orders in Indiana: ex parte and final.
The ex parte order can be issued at any time, on an emergency basis, after certain paperwork has been filed. The alleged abuser does not need to be present. Later, a hearing will be held, and the temporary order will either be finalized or the accusations will be dropped.
What Is The Order’s Purpose?
A protective order generally requires the alleged abuser to cease all contact with its holder, whether direct or indirect. That includes contact via telephone, SMS, video, or social media, as well as in-person contact and third-party contact—this is when mutual friends deliver messages.
Protective orders also stipulate that the named individual stay a certain number of feet away from the holder’s home, school, or workplace. Additionally, they are required to relinquish any firearms they may own.
Violating A Protective Order
Although protective orders are civil matters, their violation can be subject to criminal charges. Unfortunately, it is easier than you may think to violate an order of protection after an instance of domestic violence.
For example, the person who holds the order could ask you to meet them “to talk things over.” If you do so, you’ll be in violation. Similarly, if the two of you happen, completely coincidentally, to be at the same restaurant or another venue, you could face charges related to violating the order.
Consequences of Violation
Whether the violation is deliberate or unintentional, you may still face serious punishment for doing so. You could be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and sentenced to up to a year in jail. You might also be fined up to $5,000, and you’ll most likely be put on probation as well.
If you have already been convicted of similar crimes, the consequences may be harsher. Your protective order violation may be elevated to a Level 6 felony, exposing you to 18 months in jail and higher fines.
If you are named in a protective order and have been found in violation, don’t despair. Contact Razumich & Associates to discuss your case and tell us your side of the story. We understand how to fight unfair accusations and clear your name after an innocent mistake. Call us at 317-983-5333.