What Are the Consequences of Violating a North Carolina Protective Order?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

September 24, 2018

The concept of a protection order seems simple enough: stay the required distance away from the person or entity who filed the order. Despite this straightforwardness, your protective order can cause some uncertainty. What if you happen to cross paths with the filing party by accident? What if you are unknowingly in a public place at the same time? In short, what punishment can you face for violating a protective order? The answer to that question will depend on the exact circumstances of your violation, as well as the actual language in your protection order.

A lawyer with knowledge about the workings of protective orders can help to ensure that you don’t violate yours. At Breeden Law Office, we can help keep your life run as smoothly as possible despite your imposed restrictions. Violating a protective order can have consequences that carry over into the rest of your life. Contact us today at (919) 661-4970 to schedule an initial case consultation.

The Importance of Understanding the Terms of Your Protective Order

The fundamental idea of a restraining order may seem simple, but your order may contain instructions beyond simply remaining the specified distance from the other party. Your order is unique, and it’s important to be aware that there is no requirement for the court to explicitly go over all of the terms within it. This is why it is imperative for you and your lawyer to be aware of the requirements. Some issues that may be addressed in your protective order include:

  • Altering of your lease, or possession of your residence
  • Altering or eliminating your right to have custody of your children
  • An increase or change in child support or alimony
  • Altering or eliminating your right to own or possess a weapon
  • Participation in a counseling program

In addition to violating the distance requirement, violation of any of the other terms in your protective order can result in criminal penalties. This is why it is important for you to be familiar with what the court requires of you.

Violating Your Protective Order Can Result in a Wide Range of Consequences

Under North Carolina law, the first violation of your protective order is punishable as a class A1 misdemeanor. These offenses are punishable by up to 150 days in jail. The court may also fine you. Your penalty can increase drastically depending on the circumstances of your situation. If you violate your order for a third time, you can face charges for a class H felony, which is punishable by a term of incarceration in prison and fines. Your first violation may also land you with a felony charge if you approach the protected party with a deadly weapon. Furthermore, your charges for unrelated crimes you commit while subject to a protective order will be more severe than they would be otherwise.

Have You Been Accused of Violating a Protective Order? Contact Us Today

An experienced restraining order lawyer will help you understand the terms of your protective order. Breeden Law Office is a valuable ally to have if you’ve been accused of violating your North Carolina protective order. Attorney Jonathan Breeden can answer whatever questions you have about your restraining order. There are numerous details contained within a protective order, and each one has the potential to directly affect your quality of life. Going over your order with a lawyer is a good way to be sure you won’t suffer any of those negative effects.

Contact us online, or at (919) 661-4970 today to see how we can help you.


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