What Happens if I Violate a Restraining Order in Virginia?
A protective order, more commonly known as a restraining order, is a type of order issued by a Virginia court that prohibits one party from contacting another, typically in order to protect one party from abuse or violence. Protective orders can contain a number of provisions.
When a court in Virginia issues a protective order, it is very important that the person against whom the order is issued adheres to it. In fact, if you violate the provisions of a protective order, there could be very serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know:
Penalties for Violation of a Protective Order in Virginia
Section 18.2-60.4 of Virginia Code outlines the penalties for the violation in of a protection order, including the violation of an emergency protective order, preliminary protective order, or final protective order.
A violation of a protective order is classified as a Class I misdemeanor. What’s more, if a second offense is committed within a five-year time period, the offense will automatically result in an incarceration period of 60 days. A third offense (that occurs within a 20-year time period) is classified as a Class 6 felony.
If a violation of a protective order offense is committed while the offending party is in possession of a firearm or deadly weapon, or if assault or battery is committed while the protective order is being violated, the offense–and related penalties–is much more severe.
In the event that the person commits the offense while they are released on bail, and pending a criminal case, the judge will likely revoke the person’s bond. In some cases, the offending person may not only face penalties for the violation of a protective order, but may also face penalties for separate criminal charges as well (i.e. assault).
What to Do If You Have Been Accused of Violating a Protective Order in Virginia
If you have been accused of violating a protective order in Virginia, you should take steps quickly to protect yourself from the most serious of repercussions. The first thing that you should do is make sure that you immediately begin following the provisions of the protective order; the second thing that you should do is contact an experienced Virginia criminal attorney who can aid you in building a defense.
Our attorneys help you to explore all different options for a defense to charges of violation of a protective order in Virginia. We will gather multiple sources of evidence, such as phone call logs, email records, witness reports, and more to help you prove that allegations against you are false. If allegations are true, and you did in fact violate a protective order, our lawyers will still be by your side to help you understand your options, the penalties that you may be facing, and how you may be able to mitigate harsh sentencing.
If you are facing other criminal charges in conjunction with charges for violation of your protection order, working with an attorney is especially important. Facing new criminal charges can have a significant effect on your future, and could result in large fines, fees, and jail time.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Today for a Free Consultation
If a protective order has been issued against you, it is within your best interests to follow it. If you violate a protective order, you can be arrested and charged with the penalties listed above, which can affect your future.
At the law offices of St. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana, LLP, our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Virginia have experience representing clients like you who have been accused of violation of a protective order, and know what steps to take to protect your rights and interests as you navigate the criminal court system. Please contact our law offices today, or call us directly at 434-296-7138 if we can be of help to you.