When filing for a restraining order an individual is seeking protection from a person that they feel is a threat to their safety and their well being. The offender may have subjected the victim to physical brutality in the past, or the perpetrator may have threatened the petitioner. When a restraining order is authorized, a judge outlines the behaviors that the offender may not take part in. For example, the perpetrator may be forbidden to from coming within a designated distance of the victim's home or workplace.
They may also be prohibited from contacting the victim at work or at home by email, phone, or face to face communication. Once a restraining order is issued, an offender may not be allowed to contact the victim, including trying to establish contact through friends and family members. If an offender violates the conditions of a restraining order they may be subjected to fines and incarceration.
The punishment for breaking a restraining order will vary a great deal based on the perpetrators criminal history and the severity of the offense. When filing for a restraining order there are a few things that a victim should keep in mind about order breaches. In order for an offender to be legally responsible for upholding the conditions of a restraining order they must first have knowledge of the court order. There will be a gap of time between when the victim partakes in filing for a restraining order and when the temporary court order is served to the offender.
If the perpetrator attempts to contact the victim before they are served the order, then they can not be held responsible for breaching the terms of the protective order. After an individual takes part in filing for a restraining order there may be a short time period before the judge is able to review their case. However, once a restraining order is authorized, it will remain in effect until the designated date of expiration. Changes can be made to a protection order by a judge.
Another thing that individuals filing for a restraining order should remember is that a protective order may not be effective in another country, state, or province. If an individual temporarily or permanently leaves their current location, then they may no longer by legally protected from contact and communication from the offender. If a victim relocates to another state, they should speak with an attorney and present a copy of their protection order to the local court.
The court will be able to provide the individual with information about the status of their court order in that state. A victim may be required to obtain a restraining order in the state in which they are now residing. If an offender breaches the terms of a protective order, the petitioner should contact their local law enforcement agency, even if it is only a minor incident. The law enforcement agency will keep a record of the instances in which the conditions of the court order was breached.
These records may be necessary if the perpetrator partakes in more serious violations. Though a restraining order is a civil order and does not leave the offender with a criminal record, breaching a protective order is a very serious legal matter. Individuals who violate the term of a restraining order may be charged with a misdemeanor. This may require them to pay over $5,000 in fines or to receive up to a year of jail time.