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A no contact order, sometimes called a protective order or stay away order, is issued by a criminal court judge to protect the safety of victims and witnesses. It orders the defendant to have no contact with certain individuals, often the alleged victim(s). Having “no contact” means the defendant cannot:
Violating a no contact order is a criminal offense that can lead to new misdemeanor or felony charges against the defendant.
A no contact order can be issued at various stages of a criminal case:
Domestic violence cases frequently involve issuance of no contact orders since there is often an intimate relationship between the accused and the victim that requires separation to avoid further violence.
Judges have significant discretion in setting the duration of no contact orders issued in criminal cases. Some last only a few weeks during the initial court proceedings while more permanent no contact orders can remain in effect for years as part of a sentence or probation. In New York, the duration depends on factors like:
While no contact order duration varies substantially between cases, they often last 6 months to 5 years depending on the above factors. Permanent lifetime no contact orders are possible as well for the most serious crimes like rape, domestic assault, stalking, etc. The order only remains in effect as long as the criminal case is pending – if charges are ultimately dismissed, so is the no contact order typically.
Defense attorneys can file motions asking the judge to make exceptions or lift a no contact order under certain circumstances. For example, the victim may want the order dropped entirely. Or the defense may argue the protected area is too large/restrictive and needs reduced. However, it is difficult to get no contact orders removed – public safety is the top priority.Exceptions are most commonly made to allow the defendant to:
The judge determines if contact exceptions would pose a risk to the protected parties. Any adjustments made are designed to limit contact as much as realistically possible.
Anyone with a no contact order against them must fully comply with its terms or face new criminal charges for violating the order, including:
The penalties imposed depend on the nature of the violation, the defendant’s criminal history, and other case circumstances. But new contact with a protected party always carries the risk of additional jail time and/or a permanent criminal record. Defendants should take any no contact order extremely seriously to avoid compounding their legal troubles.
The experienced NYC criminal defense attorneys at John Doe & Associates understand how stressful it can be to deal with a no contact order. We represent clients facing all types of charges where these orders come into play.If you have been arrested and had a no contact order issued against you, we can help by:
Do not wait to speak with one of our attorneys about your situation and options. We are available 24/7 to provide skilled legal guidance so you avoid further legal issues. Call 123-456-7890 or contact our NYC office online to get started.
I hope this overview on no contact orders in NYC criminal cases helps explain how they work and what happens if you violate one. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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