Criminal Defense

No Contact Orders vs. Restraining Orders

No contact and restraining orders can be issued in domestic violence cases and impose legal restrictions on an individual’s ability to contact or communicate with another person.

The court usually issues these two orders to protect a person from harassment, physical harm, or threats. While both orders share several similarities, they differ in how they are filed and obtained. They also have varying timeframes and consequences for violations.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a form of abuse directed towards an individual with whom the perpetrator is involved. The victim could be a:

  • Spouse
  • Family Member
  • Roommate
  • Ex-Partner
  • Domestic Partner
  • Romantic Partner

What Is a No Contact Order?

A no contact order restricts physical contact or communication between two parties involved in a criminal case. This order is issued by the court and imposed on the accused party (defendant). It protects the alleged victim from potential harm, harassment, and intimidation.

The purpose of a no contact order is to establish clear boundaries and prohibit any contact that could escalate the situation. The order stipulates the level of contact, specifying what is and is not allowed during the time of the order.

A no contact order usually runs up to three years, but it can be renewed or revoked under certain circumstances. Any violations of this order can result in misdemeanor charges, leading to a penalty of up to six months in jail.

What Is a Restraining Order?

The court issues a restraining order to protect a person from harassment and abuse. Unlike a no contact order only given in court by a judge, a restraining order is sought by the person who believes they need legal protection from someone else.

Restraining orders are typically used in cases involving domestic violence and situations where there is a need for immediate protection. The three most common forms of restraining orders are:

  • Permanent restraining orders
  • Emergency restraining orders
  • Temporary restraining orders

A restraining order on your record is accessible by all law enforcement agencies through the state computer system. A restraining order can mandate the accused person to:

  • Keep off the alleged victim’s property
  • Pay child or spousal support
  • Move out of a shared property
  • No contact with the alleged victim and their children or family
  • Pay certain bills
  • Forfeit their firearms and ammunition

Violating a restraining order is punishable by a jail term, fines, or both. You should seek legal counsel if involved in a domestic violence case.

What Is The Difference Between Restraining Orders and No Contact Orders?

Although restraining and no contact orders are sometimes synonymous, they have distinct differences. Exploring these differences is essential if you or someone you know has been issued one of these orders.

Contact a San Diego Restraining Order Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with domestic violence in San Diego, The Law Office of Elliott Kanter can help you. Call (619) 231-1883 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with Elliott Kanter.

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