There are times when no-contact orders are issued against individuals in Pennsylvania. No-contact orders are requested when a petitioner feels that they are in danger. In general, this means that a person has gone to the court and requested a no-contact order because they think that they could be at risk of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. Additionally, stalking victims are able to petition the courts for no-contact orders. Here, we want to discuss the basics of a no-contact order in Pennsylvania, including looking at what a person can and cannot do after a no-contact order has been issued.
What is a No-Contact Order in Pennsylvania?
No-contact orders are most often issued in cases involving domestic violence or some other type of assault or stalking. As opposed to a restraining order, which a person can obtain before any crime is committed, a no-contact order takes place after an action has already occurred (i.e. some sort of assault).
Often, a judge will grant a protective order if they think that a person is a threat to other parties involved in the domestic violence situation. A judge will usually set conditions related to a person’s release after they have been charged with domestic violence. The most common condition set by a judge is a no-contact or stay-away order put into place so that the parties involved with the particular incident stay away from each other until a judge or jury decides on the innocence or guilt of the alleged assaulter.
For many assault cases, a no-contact order may remain in place as the issue moves through the court system. This means that the person accused of assault has to stay away from the alleged victim who has made an accusation against them. This order is done to prevent any further crimes from occurring, and to prevent the person accused from trying to intimidate the witness or victim in any way.
There may be various conditions imposed by a judge when a no-contact order is issued. In general, this will mean that the person accused cannot have any contact with a complainant in the case. This will include the alleged victim as well as anyone the accused person could use to contact the victim.
The no-contact order is typically applied to in-person contact as well as contact through phone calls or texting. Additionally, no-contact orders often include provisions that prevent a person from reaching out to the victim on social media.
Do You Need an Attorney to Fight a No-Contact Order?
If a person violates a no-contact order in Pennsylvania, they could be found to be in contempt of court. A contempt of court charge could carry jail time as well as fines. Additionally, if a person violates their no-contact order to retaliate against or intimidate a witness, that could be charged with a felony, which could result in significant time in prison.
If a no-contact order has been issued against you, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you handle any possible criminal charges you are facing, and they can work to examine whether or not the no-contact order should have been put into place. An attorney will work with every party involved to ensure that your rights are upheld throughout this process.