No contact orders are used to restrict contact between a domestic violence victim and their alleged abuser however, they can have consequences for those listed in the order. So, can someone charged with domestic violence vacate a no contact order?
Domestic Violence Charges in Florida
Domestic violence is a serious crime and can have a significant impact on every person involved. Punishment for domestic violence includes a minimum sentence of five days and maximum sentences of up to 15 years in prison. Additionally, depending on the case, the court may elect to order a no contact or protective order temporarily or on a permanent basis.
Once a protective order is in place, the accused cannot have contact with the alleged victims. In some cases, the court may release an order that includes limited contact, but in most cases these orders offer protection from the accused entirely. This means that the person named in the order cannot be on the same property, own firearms, or contact the protected persons.
While criminal charges have consequences including jail time and the loss of rights and privileges, a no contact or protective order may include restrictions as well.
The Difference Between a No-Contact Order and a Protective Order
The difference between a no-contact order and protective order is that a no contact order is for criminal matter while protective orders are civil in nature. In other words, the court orders a no-contact order, but an individual may request a protective order pending the court’s approval.
Both orders can restrict contact between parties and remove certain rights like gun ownership from the accused for a period or indefinitely depending on the circumstances. However, violation of a no-contact order has severe consequences that can impact the result of a domestic violence case and add to the sentence.
Who Can Vacate a No Contact Order?
In Florida, it is common for people to request that the court lift a no contact order because of undue hardship that may come as a result. For example, an order may complicate child custody and visitation agreements or make going to work difficult.
No contact orders are a condition of pretrial release, but the accused or their alleged victim may petition the court to resume contact. This can be accomplished through a Motion to Modify Conditions of Pretrial Release.
To file a Motion to Modify, both parties must state that:
- Both parties want to resume contact
- The alleged victim wants to lift the order voluntarily
- There is no fear of the defendant
- The alleged victim does not fear future violence
- The contact each party wishes to have (unrestricted, limited, contact for child visitation, etc.)
Once a motion is filed, the court will schedule a hearing to determine whether the order can be lifted or modified. This hearing may include testimony from the alleged victim and a cross examination by the prosecution to ensure that the alleged victim is acting of their own free will.
Are You Facing a No Contact Order?
If you have been accused of domestic violence and are facing a no contact order from the court, you must contact a legal representative immediately. The Hoffman Firm has extensive experience with protective orders, no contact orders, and domestic violence cases in Florida. Our team of compassionate guides and aggressive advocates can help you file a Motion to Modify and assist with your criminal case. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that your best interests are protected every step of the way.
Contact The Hoffman Firm today for more information.