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Who Controls No-Contact Order Enforcement?

Valentine Candies

Roses are red. Violets are blue. The chief complaining witness says she won't tell. But the police will arrest you.

Not the greatest poetry. But it is dead on with regard to who enforces the no-contact order: the police, not your ex.

Even if the protected party picks up the phone and calls the defendant first. Let me say that again. It is not legal to pick up the phone and call a protected party even if he or she reaches out first. It's not even a good idea to pick up the phone and answer it if the protected party calls the defendant. Now, some would say, "can't he/she get in trouble for that" if the protected party runs hot then cold, so to speak, on whether it's okay to be in contact? Technically, the State has the authority to prosecute a protected party for their part in violating a no-contact order.

But even if they do, it doesn't help the defendant and the State has the discretion to refrain from prosecution, choosing instead to chalk it up to the "cycle of abuse." Violating a no-contact order can result in a fine and a jail sentence. Competing, applicable statutes make the specific penalty a bit unclear but defendants should assume that the minimum seven-day jail sentence is required--and a fine up to $500. Each call or visit can be prosecuted as a separate offense (in criminal cases) or litigated by the protected party (in civil no contact cases).

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