Domestic violence is a huge problem in the United States. Statistics indicate that as many as twenty people in America are physically harmed or abused every minute, which is a staggering number. Although there is no surefire way to protect everyone, orders of protection are law enforcement's way of attempting to keep people safe from both physical and emotional harm perpetrated by the people who are closest to them. If you are in fear of someone hurting you in a relationship, then having an order of protection is critical to making sure you are safe.
One in three women and one in four men have admitted to being the victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lives. Abuse isn’t just about physically hurting someone – there are many ways that a person can be abused in a relationship – and not all signs are visible, which makes it go undetected so easily. Also, victims often assume that they are to blame or deserving of the abuse and are scared to file a report for fear of reprisal.
If you are being harassed, stalked, or domestically abused, then you do have many tools at your disposal to get the abuse to stop. You don’t have to be afraid or suffer in silence. There are many types of restraining and protective orders, and although you can’t force someone to comply, once you have an order in place, anyone who violates that order can face serious consequences – and in some instances, even jail time.
Yes, you can go to prison for violating an order of protection
Orders of protection are a tool used by law enforcement to identify when someone might be the victim of abuse and in danger. But they also can be brought on falsely, which can leave the named abuser without any recourse to set the record straight. Once an order of protection is put into motion, it doesn’t take much proof for someone to claim that you are violating that order. If someone claims that they even saw you where you shouldn’t be, that can be grounds for being imprisoned or held in jail.
There are several factors that would determine whether someone who violates an order of protection would go to prison. Chief among them is whether it was their first violation or whether they have violated the order several times. It would also matter if while you were violating the order of protection, the person who holds the order was harmed in any physical way. If they were physically hurt, then there is a good chance that you will go to prison.
Misdemeanor violation of restraining order
If you are accused of a misdemeanor violation of a restraining order, and it results in physical harm, then you can serve up to 30 days in jail and face charges of up to $2000. If it was not the first time you’ve violated the order, then you will likely serve from six months to one year behind bars. And if it was your third (or more) time, then you can find yourself in prison for more than a year and pay over $10,000 in fines.
Felony violation of a restraining order
If you are charged with a felony violation of a restraining order, that means that it is your second time violating the order. The consequences of a felony can result in anything from probation to three years in jail. You can also face up to $10,000 in fines. Subsequent violations can result in up to three years in prison and over $10,000 in fines.
What does it take to prove a violation of a restraining order?
The problem with having a protection order is that once it’s in place it really doesn’t take much for someone to accuse you and for you to be prosecuted for violation. Since it is mostly your word against theirs and it almost always protects the person who filed the order, you have to be very careful in following the conditions of the order. If you have been accused of not following an order of protection, it is important to hire a protection orders attorney to know what your rights are, and know how not to violate your orders to keep yourself out of trouble.
Hopefully, this post helped you or someone you love.