Here’s What To Remember If You Have A No Contact Order Against You

When you and your romantic partner are on the outs, what starts out as "just another fight" can quickly escalate into legal trouble. If your partner went before a judge and asked for a temporary no contact order for safety reasons, he or she probably got the order with little trouble. The legal system is weighted heavily in favor of anything that will keep the peace. You may think it's unfair and you may be frustrated, but until the issue is resolved you need to make sure that you don't accidentally violate the order. Here's what to keep in mind:

1.) Don't ask your partner to lift the order.

Yes, your partner has the power to ask the court to lift the order. However, you aren't in a position to ask him or her to do that without actually violating the order. Even if you think that tensions between the two of you have cooled, do not contact your partner. 

2.) Don't accept an invitation to talk.

You can be in violation of the order even if the other party contacts you first. He or she may try to initiate contact for some reason, maybe to "talk it through." However, if you see your partner's number come up on your phone, assume that the call was accidental and don't answer it -- even if all you want to say is "Leave me alone!" The burden of the no contact order is on you, at least for now.

3.) Don't text or direct social media posts that way.

Texting and social media are huge sources of trouble for people under no contact orders. Even accidentally including your partner in a group text or post will violate the no contact order. If you have your social media account set up to wish him or her a "happy anniversary" or something similar, it's still a violation. The first thing you should do if you have a no contact order against you is to take that person's number out of your phone and remove him or her from your social media accounts and email.

4.) Don't ask a third party to intervene.

You probably have personal articles that you need to retrieve from your partner. While it might seem innocent enough to ask your co-worker, best friend, or brother to contact your partner and ask to pick up your things, that will also put you in violation of the no contact order.

If you absolutely must retrieve some personal items, go through the police or your domestic violence attorney. There are methods in place to make the process possible and you are expected to follow them.

5.) Don't expect the judge to be sympathetic if you break the order.

Judges tend to be particularly sensitive about no contact order violations. A lot of times, no contact orders may be the result of alleged domestic violence. If so, you may be out on bond while the case is pending. If you violate the order, the judge is likely to see that as a blatant disrespect for the court's authority and revoke your bond.

You'll have your chance to fight the no contact order in court, with your attorney, when it comes time for the final hearing. Until then, zealously protect yourself against any charges of a violation, because the penalties can be stiff, even if you don't have other charges pending against you. In Michigan, for example, you can be forced to pay for ankle monitoring (or go to jail) just for a first offense. In Washington, you can be jailed for a year and fined $5,000.