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What Happens if I Violate a Restraining Order?

Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

alt textProtective Orders and Their Purposes

Protective orders are a type of order that the court can issue to protect or provide relief to the petitioner in a case. Restraining orders are a type of protective order typically filed in family law cases such as divorces and custody actions. These orders pertain to the rights and protections of the two spouses. The court can also issue orders for protection and no-contact orders, which pertain to the conduct and contact between the petitioner and defendant.

A restraining order can order you to do many things. It can prohibit you from liquidating assets, making large purchases, or taking out credit. It can also order you to pay spousal and child support, relinquish personal property, and adhere to a parenting plan and visitation schedule.

Protective orders and no-contact orders restrain the defendant from coming near or contacting the petitioner. These are frequently issued in cases involving domestic violence or assault. These protect the petitioner from further harm.

What Are the Consequences?

Violating a protective order is a criminal offense. You can be arrested without a warrant and charged with contempt of court, a misdemeanor or felony crime depending on the specific violation and your history of offenses. You can face substantial fines and potentially jail time. You can also lose custody of your child and be ordered to pay support or restitution to the victim. The court may also require you to be subject to electronic monitoring.

Violating a restraining order in a divorce or separation case is a little different. You may have to go to court where the judge will take action to enforce the order. You may lose some rights in the process. You can face criminal charges, however, if you repeatedly and willfully violate the order in an attempt to harm the petitioner or child.

If you are facing accusations of misconduct for a restraining or protective order violation, speak with an experienced Washington criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. These are serious accusations and violating that can result in serious penalties. An attorney with domestic violence defense experience can evaluate the type of order you are subject to and advise you of the consequences of your violation. An attorney can also defend you against claims of misconduct to ensure you are not unfairly charged with a violation.

Are you facing criminal charges? The attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC understand your concerns and can help you make the right steps in your case. Our attorneys are experienced in DUI and criminal defense and can help you face your charges with confidence while defending your rights. For 10 years Padula & Associates has been serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and surrounding areas with aggressive criminal defense services for DUIs, domestic violence, and other criminal charges. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at or fill out our free consultation form today.