What constitutes a violation of a protective order?

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What constitutes a violation of a protective order?

My ex-girlfriend took a protective order on me and the judge enforced it for 1 year. She lied to get it. After court, I went to work where I received a letter by mail from my ex-girlfriend. I was wondering since the judge told both of us not to have any contact whatsoever, if she broke that protective order by sending me that letter?

Asked on December 22, 2012 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question.  In most cases a temporary protective order or TPO that is issued by a judge only restricts the person it is against from having contact with the person who obtained the order.  This means it basically says you are not to contact her or come within a 1000 ft of her and things of that nature.  If she contacts you or comes around you, she is not violating the TPO since it is only in force against you.

However, if you are concerned that she may be trying to get you to violate the TPO by contacting you in this way then there are a few things you can do.  First, you can place a recording device on your phone and when she calls you record the conversation.  That way you have evidence that she called you and that she was trying to make contact not the other way around.  It will also show her demeanor which can be helpful if she is actually being angry or spiteful toward you.

You have the right to seek a TPO of your own which is usually as simple as going to your county magistrate court and telling them she is harassing you and trying to get you to violate a no-contact provision and that you want a TPO to prevent her from contacting you.  Most judges would probably give you one so that you are protected just like she is.

An experienced criminal or family law attorney knows how to help with this situation and you would be well advised to consult with one, like myself.  Usually the consultation is free and you can get more specific advice to help you decide what to do, if anything.  A lawyer may also be able to help keep you out of trouble and protect you from further problems.

David West

Attorney at Law

David West / David West & Associates

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question.  In most cases a temporary protective order or TPO that is issued by a judge only restricts the person it is against from having contact with the person who obtained the order.  This means it basically says you are not to contact her or come within a 1000 ft of her and things of that nature.  If she contacts you or comes around you, she is not violating the TPO since it is only in force against you.

However, if you are concerned that she may be trying to get you to violate the TPO by contacting you in this way then there are a few things you can do.  First, you can place a recording device on your phone and when she calls you record the conversation.  That way you have evidence that she called you and that she was trying to make contact not the other way around.  It will also show her demeanor which can be helpful if she is actually being angry or spiteful toward you.

You have the right to seek a TPO of your own which is usually as simple as going to your county magistrate court and telling them she is harassing you and trying to get you to violate a no-contact provision and that you want a TPO to prevent her from contacting you.  Most judges would probably give you one so that you are protected just like she is.

An experienced criminal or family law attorney knows how to help with this situation and you would be well advised to consult with one, like myself.  Usually the consultation is free and you can get more specific advice to help you decide what to do, if anything.  A lawyer may also be able to help keep you out of trouble and protect you from further problems.

David West

Attorney at Law


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