Penalties for Violating a DC Protection Order

If a judge has granted a Civil Protection Order against a person, it is crucial that they understand all the provisions of the order. A violation of a Civil Protection Order can lead to criminal charges for violating the protection order, or criminal charges of contempt of violating a court’s order. These criminal charges are punishable by a $1,000.00 fine, 180 days in jail, or both. These consequences make it very important that an individual work with an experienced DC attorney to understand all the provisions of the Order, and exactly what they are to refrain from doing if a judge issues a Civil Protection Order against them.

Responding to a Restraining Order

If someone has a petition for a Civil Protection Order filed against them, it is imperative that they follow the orders of the Civil Protection Order so they do not find themselves in violation of the Order. The petitioner, or person who requested the Civil Protection Order, can notify the police if they think that the other person has violated the Order, and they can also file a motion for criminal contempt. Therefore, if someone has a Civil Protection Order filed against them, it is best to completely avoid the petitioner, or at least make sure that they are in full compliance with whatever it is that the judge orders them to do or refrain from doing.

Criminal Repercussions

Different things can happen if a person violates a Civil Protection Order. The government may file a contempt charge or a violation of the Civil Protection Order charge. Alternatively, the petitioner may file a motion for contempt, in which case a judge will then hold a hearing to decide whether the person has violated the order.

If the government files a contempt charge or a violation of the Civil Protection Order charge, that case will proceed like any other criminal case. If a judge finds a person in contempt of an order, that person faces a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail, a fine of $1,000.00 or both.

Violation Petitions

In the event that a person violates a Temporary Protection Order or a Civil Protection Order, there are different types of violation petitions that a petitioner may file. The petitioner can file a motion for civil contempt, or file a motion to adjudicate criminal contempt. The purpose of a motion for civil contempt is to make the respondent comply with the order. The purpose of a motion to adjudicate criminal contempt is to have the respondent found to be in violation of the court order.

If a judge finds the respondent in criminal contempt of the order after a petitioner files a motion to adjudicate for criminal contempt, the respondent faces a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail, a $1,000.00 fine or both.

Importance of a DC Restraining Order Lawyer

It is very important to contact a DC lawyer who has experience with domestic violence cases as soon as a person knows that they have been accused of violating a Civil Protection Order. The petitioner has different options, such as filing a motion for civil contempt or filing a motion to adjudicate criminal contempt, which can potentially result in a harsh punishment, including jail time. It is also possible that the motion for contempt is sent to the prosecutor’s office, which may then result in a criminal charge against them for violation of a Civil Protection Order.

It is important for an attorney to compile evidence for the defense of any allegations of a violation of the Civil Protection Order. Helpful information may be the name and contact information of anyone who can refute such claims or information that would discredit the petitioner’s credibility.